March 2, 2015
Now we are six

At six Elizabeth weighs 42.5 lbs and is 45.5" tall. She looks MUCH older than last year (check out the pictures with the bear!) Mommy is not sure about the lack of bangs but does give her major points for persevering. They are almost long enough to stay put behind her ears!

She is very independent - picks out her own clothes, takes a shower (including washing her hair) by herself and can get up in the morning and get dressed. She's still a good helper and especially enjoys learning how to do things she thinks are for "grownups". She's made dinner for us a couple of times from start to finish except that we don't allow her to drain pots full of boiling water or take things out of the oven yet. She can do laundry, though her folding skills aren't quite up to standard.

Six is a little mouthy. She likes to try out things grownups say to her... on grownups. Often at rather inappropriate times and sadly for her without the expected or desired results! Obviously still trying to understand the boundaries. She's definitely a rule follower and wants to understand how the world works. What are the rules? Can she make the rules? It drives her crazy when "rules" appear not to apply. (WHY!??)

Six can play well by herself and has been caught reading books to herself (early readers!). Still loves to draw, still loves crafts, still loves playing with dolls. Making forts and racing cars are also extremely popular.

She isn't a picky eater anymore, but her table manners are often atrocious. We're working on it.

Elizabeth is almost done the grade one math curriculum we've been working through. In the right mood she finds math fun, but sometimes she gets impatient and is incapable of a simple sum she normally can do almost without thinking. No idea where she gets that from (!) This doesn't just apply to math - it's hard to know what reading level she's at because sometimes she'll read what's written easily and fluently (even words that we didn't know she knew). And then she'll read something like "all" and despite having read it correctly in the previous sentence she'll spend a minute sounding it out agonizingly slowly - maybe throwing a few extra sounds in for good measure - and get very frustrated. Usually this is when she's convinced that the story she is reading says one thing and what she's actually reading says another. So she tries to make the words match up the story she's trying to read and gets increasingly agitated when they don't. Sometimes she goes as far as rewriting the story "properly" on a piece of paper, though I don't usually give her that satisfaction.

She also very much likes to be first to do things, the only one to do things, the one that does the most of something or the one that does the best. Slightly competitive, shall we say... Sometimes this comes out as wanting to be right, so even though she obviously knows that she's made a mistake she will absolutely not admit to it. We've learned not to get caught up in this.

Six likes to ask unanswerable questions (or with answers that she finds less than satisfactory). She cannot for the life of her understand why Mars One can't figure out a return trip. There's gotta be a gas station somewhere in space, and if not, they should just build one. She's particularly fixated on death and heaven.

Still very chatty and friendly, still a social butterfly that appears to make friends easily - and more impressive - she is able to maintain those relationships. She would have been happy to invite most of her school to her birthday party (and the teachers too!), not to mention many of kids she happens to know. We restricted her to ten and were quite interested by her choices. Only four from her class. One from church. A couple of friends that we go camping with. The rest: kids from her class two summers ago (and that she only ever gets to connect with at recess!) and of course Adi - that goes without saying!

8 photos / videos

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March 1, 2015
Disney on Ice

A guest post by Elizabeth! She had a special adventure with her "brest friend" and asked me if I could tell everyone about it "on the blog".

"I went to Disney on Ice because my friend Adi brought me for my birthday present! It was at the hockey place and there was people yelling 'Who wants popcorn! Who wants hats!'

There was a magic wall and the people in the show could go through it without breaking. I think it was a curtain. There were two handles and a snappy thing attached to the ceilings and they were really cool. The princesses used them to pretend they could fly.

There was steam and there were lights and sometimes it was light and sometimes it was dark and sometimes there was fire (but it wasn't real). Everyone was on skates. They were all persons (Ariel had feet). There was even a crab and a fish and green frogs. There was Rosetta and Belle and Ariel. Some of them even did cartwheels on their skates and could skate on one leg. If I practice maybe I can skate like that when I'm eight.

Adi's grandma got me a tulip hat and a cup that had blue, yellow and green food in it. Wasn't that nice? I think they were little ice blocks with food colour in it. It was very sweet. Adi got a green one with three eyes on it. I got a pink Ariel. Adi and Tristan got cars hats. And we had cotton candy. It was fluffy and green at the bottom and pink at the top. It was yummy but I didn't finish it because it tasted weird and it was my first time.

Adi's brother Tristan came too. His favourite part was the cars. (Daddy asked if he was well behaved - answer: 'well he's three now so yes - three year olds are always well behaved. He looks like a two year old to me but Adi's grandma told me how old he was'). Mommy Michelle and Adi's grandma liked the cars too and Mommy Lise-Anne liked Tinker Bell. I think Adi's favourite part was Ariel on the ice just like me."

1 photos / videos

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February 28, 2015
Party Part Deux

Breakfast candles are apparently now our tradition, so I made pancakes once again. This time I didn't melt the bottom of the candles in the hot pancakes, and I didn't "forget" to add the chocolate chips (I may have had some reminding!).

Elizabeth's friends showed up bright and early (10am) ready to play. Auntie Janice gave us some fake snow to play with while we waited for everyone to arrive. Some of the kids totally loved this and some (including Elizabeth) did not like getting their hands gooey - oh well. It was SUPER messy! I was glad I'd thought to put out a plastic tablecloth as we were able to bundle it up and drop it all in the closest tub.

The kids that didn't want to play with the snow got to build castles with blocks. This was totally improvised on the spot when I realized that the sensory part wasn't going to work for all. Luckily they enjoyed that. Then glitter glue and paint to decorate loot bags. I might not have quite thought through the mess factor but actually the kids were remarkably tidy all things considered.

We played a relay race to "build Olaf the snowman". Pro tip: do not let your two-year old watch games involving toilet paper. Elizabeth and her friend Sarah were picked to be snowmen. It was highly amusing for all involved, though the "relay race" part kind of morphed into random kids adding random pieces to whichever snowman they were closest to. I apparently like maximum chaos, so not only did we snowsuit all the kids to play hunt the coloured ice cubes in the snow, but afterwards I supervised make-your-own pizzas. It was fun, but I did wonder what on earth I was thinking when we got to the pizza part. In the middle of the busiest part, one of our biggest clients server went down. So Brendan disappeared leaving me with 11 very excited 4-6 year olds and Matthew. I was very glad a couple of parents had opted to stay! I finished getting the pizzas in the oven while Elizabeth opened her gifts. I have no idea who got her what but she loved all of it.

After the party it was time for skating class to work off a little of the sugar. After skating we headed to Swiss Chalet (where else?) for supper. Then more presents, more cake and Boggle with the rest of the house before bed.

33 photos / videos

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February 21, 2015

We offered Elizabeth the same deal as last year - she could have a special party with her friends if she combined her family birthday party with Matthew's.

I was a little dismayed that Elizabeth demanded not one but TWO "Frozen" themed parties, but in retrospect having the same theme made things much easier. For one, we were able to keep the same decorations up for both! Luckily Matthew didn't mind...

There was a slight glitch when the complicated schedule gymnastics that are always necessary to try and get everyone in the same place at the same time happened to place the party smack in the middle of Elizabeth, Matthew and Xander's music recital. Luckily we already knew everyone was free so we just moved the start of the party to the recital hall and asked folks to show up half an hour earlier if possible. Of course we also had skating ending at the same time as the recital began so it was a little frantic getting ready for the party followed by skating class and we were quite happy not to be late! Elizabeth was super excited to see all the people who came to watch her recital.

It was Xander and Matthew's first recital - they both did really well. Since Matthew could go up with his sister for some of it and with Xander for his "piece" I didn't actually have to hang out on stage at all. He did look a bit like a deer in the headlights but eventually started "bang banging" on his drum right at the end :) Elizabeth played her piece with her customary confidence though as usual she was concentrating so hard she looked rather severe until she was done.

After the recital we played in the snow for a bit and took some family photos. You might notice that tenant Jesse is back for a few months - he's actually been here since the beginning of year - to Elizabeth's great delight (she wanted Ray back too but we explained he's in still working in Toronto). The new face is Lorianne, who's staying with us this month. Elizabeth is amazed by her piano skills "She's better than Mrs Shana [ed note - the piano teacher] and I think she knows ALL HER SHARPS". This has been good incentive for piano practices!

After photos it was party time! There were appropriately themed cakes, lasagna, Caesar salad and garlic bread. In other words... the usual. Dessert was first, by special request. Then we blinked and much wrapping paper was strewn all over amid much excitement.

38 photos / videos

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February 17, 2015
Shrove Tuesday

Elizabeth recovered her appetite enough to nibble some pancakes for Shrove Tuesday. So far no one else has come down with stomach flu.

In other news, kids have created a little fort between the couch and the radiator. It involves removing all the cushions from the other couch which is slightly problematic since we currently have no other comfortable seating accessible in the house aside from the third floor. Occasionally my feeling-more-pregnant-than-I-actually-am self needs to sit and put my feet up, and three flights of stairs does not help with attempting to rest!

Matthew likes to take his toys, books and snacks into the fort and will sit there quietly humming to himself for a long time, despite the great heat from the radiator.

4 photos / videos

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