April 5, 2015
Alleluia! The Lord is Risen!
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April 3, 2015
Good Friday 2015

Lent this year seemed kind of rushed. Although we have traditions it seemed like we were always just not quite managing to do anything we'd planned to mark it "appropriately" from the moment we missed the Ash Wednesday service due to everyone being sick.

And then Holy Week began and somehow between Palm Sunday and Maundy Thursday things seemed to settle down. It helped that Elizabeth has been sleeping a tiny bit better, I expect. We took Elizabeth to the foot washing service (Matthew stayed home and pretended he was never ever going to sleep again with Auntie Janice) and Elizabeth asked to wash Daddy's feet and then her friend Karis washed her feet. It was a really great service and I was so glad that we went. Elizabeth clearly loved being treated as "grown up" and not having to share our attention with Matthew for a few hours.

The Good Friday service was beautiful as well. Matthew was quite taken by the request to draw his sins on a piece of flash paper ("Do you know what sins are?" "Naughties!!!" said with great glee). Both kids very impressed by the result of all our papers disappearing in a giant whooshing fireball.

The whole family got together after church on Good Friday to decorate eggs and make (eat!) resurrection rolls. Erika did her whole egg with the hot wax, but the other kids all had to paint with food colouring. Elizabeth and Maria got to write their names using hot wax and under supervision. Elizabeth was very proud, until she managed to dump hot wax all over her finger raising a small blister. After that she was pretty much done for the evening.

Actually, all the kids were getting squirrelly by then and it was a beautiful day so we kicked them outside to play. We tried very briefly to get a calendar picture but as you can see from the one photo I actually took the kids were not feeling cooperative.

Everyone stayed for lasagna and coleslaw for supper. The coleslaw used the recipe from that time Dave was on TV, which was interesting enough information to get Elizabeth to try it (it's rather spicy, but I made a mild version). Brendan laughed at me for making two full-sized lasagnas but they were demolished in very short order, partly because we didn't get around to garlic bread and partly because the kids have hollow legs ;)

Hopefully by the time the kids are teenagers groceries will be delivered by drone because otherwise we're going to spend all our time at the grocery store...

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April 2, 2015
Ottawa Spring

The forecast called for +12C, so it was rather shocking to wake up to -5C and 2cm of snow!

These pictures were taken in the morning and the afternoon of the same day. It was rather challenging to figure out what clothing Elizabeth should wear to school (rain boots? winter boots? splash pants? snow pants?)

She came home with baby bunny from the "boîte à surprises" (surprise box) that they get to choose from if they have a certain number of stars for good behaviour during the week. She was ecstatic to inform us that she additionally received the bunny ears because she was "the goodest in the afternoon of all the friends" 

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March 31, 2015
How many weeks?

It's tradition to take belly shots with my other pregnant friends and family members. Amusingly, I've always been pregnant at the same time as one of my sister-in-laws, and Dianne and I also tend to overlap. (She's due any day now....)

I had a prenatal appointment recently and I was asked "how many weeks pregnant are you?"

I'm pretty sure I used to know this information during my first two pregnancies, but this time I lost track somewhere in the first trimester. It doesn't seem like critical information somehow.

I agreed to go for my glucose sugar test and then promptly failed it. Dr Gravelle was quite reassuring at the follow-up appointment though and I was relieved when her expectation that I'd pass the two hour version turned out to be accurate. So no gestational diabetes here after an anxious week or so while I envisioned everyone else eating all the Easter candy without me... (Okay, so clearly Easter isn't just about the treats but still...)

I'm told that in the last week or so I've become much more visibly pregnant. I certainly feel extremely pregnant. It also feels wrong to be pregnant past the end of February... Sadly there are many weeks yet to go. At least I have a definite end date!

I had Raynaud's with all three pregnancies and this one is no exception. On the plus side it should become less of a problem as it warms up. Less manageable (but familiar) is leg cramps that happen while I am sleeping. During the day I can avoid triggering these extremely painful muscle spasms but not so much at night. It's a pretty shocking way to wake up and the pain lingers for hours. Around the time that Brendan's dad died I started having them multiple times a night - not sure if it's stress related but definitely not welcome, especially when everyone tells me that the cause is unknown and therefore there isn't much that can be done to prevent them.

There's lots of kicking going on now, which both Elizabeth and Matthew find quite fascinating. I cannot tell whether Amelia is breech or transverse but she's definitely one of the two and seems to have settled into a favourite position. It's about the same time that the other two picked their final positions too so I'm feeling like it would have been a C-section even if she was number one instead of number three. The only problem is that she is pressing into my diaphragm most of the time, leaving me constantly short of breath to the point of pins and needles in my lips.

Also annoying: my bellybutton has popped out. Matthew thinks this is the most interesting thing ever. He's constantly trying to peek at other people's bellybuttons (to compare?), not to mention trying to poke mine. I find this less cute than his assertion that Mommy has a baby in her tummy and he has a dragon in his (RAHRRR)!

But in the grand scheme of things these are minor complaints. Sure, it would be great to have a little more energy with which to wrangle the rather energetic children we have been blessed with. But all in all I'd say that things are going well and I'm feeling fine.

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March 28, 2015
Epic adventure day
The Epic Adventure Day... by Auntie Janice

It all started harmlessly enough: Wednesday of March Break I took Matthew out for an "adventure", while Elizabeth had Mommy Time, and promised her that she could come on an adventure the next day.

Matthew's adventure involved a walk to bank street and back to drop off some quilt show flyers. I had no idea how much of an EPIC adventure Thursday would prove to be when I texted my sister to expect me for "adventure" duty around 11 the next morning...

The 8:30 AM knock at the door was a bit unexpected, but when Mary asked me if I wouldn't mind watching both kids while they went to the hospital- of course I agreed. Since I knew Chris and Yukiko would be also be headed to say their goodbyes to Grandpa J, I quickly offered to take all four cousins on the adventure. Erika declined, but Maria, Elizabeth, Matthew and I had quite a busy day!

At first it took me a little while to figure out how to fit two boosters and a car seat in my car (Priscilla)... Turns out the car seat has to be centred.

Once we were all in, we went to drop off some flyers near the airport. This sounds simpler than it was because I didn't quite think ahead to looking up directions and my friend's house wasn't directly off the intersection she had told me... Sigh.

Then we were hungry, and since we had seen Cora's while hunting houses, we went there. I cannot believe how much food the three of them ate! One and a half grilled cheese sandwiches, one giant chocolate/strawberry crepe, and a TON of fruit. They were clearly hungry.

Then we went to drop off more flyers at the Greenboro library, and the kids found a reading bus there and some awesome kid zone computer games. Sadly Matthew was SO excited about it all he forgot to tell me he had to poo again... which led to the realization that I had no extra diapers or wipes with me at all. I got creative with some paper towel, and we hurried back home to pick up diapers and water for the girls. We made it safely, phew!

Then we went downtown to meet my friend Jennifer for a Starbucks, many hot chocolates and... Drop off more flyers! We parked at the wrong Marriott downtown though (who knew there were two?) and so we took the bus to get to her. Yay bus!

Our final adventure of the day was walking up to Parliament, at which point we were going to go up the tower. Sadly it was closed already (last tour of the day is around 3, and the tower closes after then). But by then the kids all needed a washroom anyways, so we walked over to the InfoService kiosk "That doesn't open until summer" said one unhelpful off-duty security guard as we walked off the hill... Thankfully he was wrong, and there were none of the usual summer lineups. The kiosk staff were so delighted to see three well mannered children that they gave them all pins and flags. Very popular.

As we drove home, I asked the kids what their favourite parts were of the day. Elizabeth liked all the driving around, Maria liked going to the library, and Matthew liked the flags. I think my favourite part was either the moment when Matthew actually went pee on a toilet for me (first time I've witnessed this!) or watching the kids play in the snow on Parliament Hill. So many good memories for a sad day...
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