Elizabeth was invited to two different birthday parties, which of course happened to coincide with her spring piano recital.
Party #1 was Cosmic Adventures with Adi, and of course Elizabeth was pretty excited to be going. She carefully made her card and Matthew hopefully made one too after she told him he couldn't come because he had no card or present. We took him on an "adventure" to buy more dirt and flowers for the garden instead, which seemed to satisfy him - probably because he doesn't remember what Cosmic Adventures is...
There was a lot of gardening in between drop off and pick up for the two parties. Elizabeth and Matthew played in the sandbox when they got tired of helping.
Party #2 was a princess party (Princess Ariel, to be precise) at Lea's house. We weren't going to let Elizabeth go at first, but Lea's mom emailed me to see whether Elizabeth could come so we relented. This did mean that we had two recitals on the same day. Matthew was much more confident this time - banging his tambourine with vim and vigour and singing along to the "Mr Sun" song. Sadly he could not be stopped from continuing to sing so we had to leave the room after that! He enjoyed the dancing song as well.
Elizabeth's party ended a mere fifteen minutes before the start of recital #2 so Daddy had to motor to get her there on time. She was slightly delayed due to problems with the doorbell but managed to make the rhythm parade that always starts off the recital - though she did have to run... Matthew was happy to get to do the parade twice, but after Elizabeth's piece Daddy took him out for a walk as it was a bit much to expect him to sit through the whole thing again, especially considering that it was VERY hot. Mrs Hannah and Mrs Shana had kindly suggested that we could slip out anytime after Elizabeth's piece (which they put at the beginning). I left it up to Elizabeth, who didn't want to miss her "favourite" song aka Matthew's dancing song. So we ended up staying until then (about two thirds the way through). When we got home and Elizabeth realized that we weren't doing anything "exciting" the rest of the day she said wished she had stayed longer. But Mommy was hot so just as glad that we didn't! Elizabeth was so excited that she rushed her piece a little bit - it was fine but the version she played on a video that we sent out a few weeks ago was much better performed. Ah well!
There was more gardening before and after supper and even after the kids went to bed, but we managed to get all the flowers planted and watered, 1680L of dirt spread in the various garden boxes and many bags of mulch arranged to my satisfaction.
Dianne invited Matthew and I along on a tour of the RCMP stables and picnic. We were hoping to catch a practice for the musical ride afterwards, but sadly they were too close to leaving on tour and don't need their noon practices anymore.
Matthew enjoyed seeing the horses very much. He was also thrilled to take TWO busses home, which was surprisingly painless until he passed out and I had to walk the last ten minutes in the hot sun with a sleeping child who could not be roused. Then I realized I had left my keys in my coat and was locked out of the house with said sleeping child for a bit as Daddy was at a meeting. Luckily we'd already pulled out the deck furniture so I put my feet up and relaxed until rescue arrived.
Now that I'm into the weekly appointment phase of pregnancy it's probably time for another update.
I had another ultrasound a couple of weeks ago - but I didn't have to leave the OB's office as they now have a handheld device about the size of a smart phone (or two hinged decks of cards). It was pretty cool! Matthew seemed to enjoy looking at "Meelee", although he also didn't seem convinced that the picture was of a real baby. Dr Gravelle said it was a present that she and the other OB she works with decided to get themselves - I wonder how long it will be before most OBs and even midwives all have their own ultrasound machines.
At the time of the ultrasound, baby was diagonal - somewhere between breech and transverse. But of course now she's head down. This is immensely frustrating, because if either of the previous two had deigned to flip down I could have avoided one or more C-section. But of course now it's not an option... On the plus side not having a transverse kid for once does mean that it won't be a medical emergency if I go into labour.
I'm still experiencing nearly daily leg cramps and swollen feet which is still very annoying. At least the cramps have mostly shifted from 2am to 6:30am! I've also started to get quite car sick if I spend more than about fifteen minutes in the car so am probably going to be hanging out close to home for most of the rest of the time left. I am finding it harder to bend over especially in the garden (not an issue I encountered with my February babies!) and I have been quite tired. I'm also into that part of pregnancy where I feel quite paranoid about things like "WHAT IF IT'S ACTUALLY A BOY" or "SHOULDN'T WE HAVE SCHEDULED THE C-SECTION EARLIER?". Brendan thinks it's cute. Elizabeth keeps trying to figure out when the baby is coming already ("Before or after cottage?" "Before or after I go to the big school?" "Before or after flat Grandma and Grandpa come to visit?"). And Matthew is very taken with his sister in tummy. I think it's cute when he insists on hugging her and giving kisses. It's useful when I can talk him into doing things he didn't want to do to "show Amelia". It's not cute when he stabs me in the stomach with a fork in an attempt to "feed Meelee. Hundee! (hungry)"
Our area is getting fancy new wireless water meters in order to justify the ever-increasing cost of our water (seriously - I think we're over 400% increase in the last decade and our neighbour who owns a bunch of apartment buildings told us his water bills recently passed his electric bills!)
In any case, we got our notice and groaned because our shutoff valve to the house was defective. We had been planning to replace it along with our original lead pipe water service "someday". We weren't too worried about the lead pipe part because we had participated in the city of Ottawa's free water quality testing program for a few years. Although the results suggested we should run our water prior to drinking it in the morning, the levels were quite acceptable. The shut off valve was another matter as the idea of getting much water all over our nice new hardwood floor in the basement convinced us that someday had come.
Brendan's parents had investigated changing the lead pipe service back in 1995 when our street was rebuilt, but the contractor suggested they would need to demolish and rebuild the front porch so that was that! I was pleased to discover that no one was suggesting that this would be necessary this time around.
I was less pleased to find out that water service replacements are quite pricey (4k!), but I was unable to convince Brendan that we could dig our own large hole in order to reduce the cost.
The work was initially supposed to happen several weeks ago but locates were all backed up so we had to wait. Elizabeth and Matthew were perplexed to see the little flags and yellow spray painted lines on our lawn ("Uh oh", said Matthew. "Draw, draw, naughty!") When the workers arrived, they were pretty confident they would only have to make a small hole in the lawn. "Don't worry about your flower bed", they said. "We'll feed a wire through the old pipe and pull a new one in".
The kids were very excited to see the "digger" and dump truck hanging out on our lawn. Matthew watched for hours. You'd think this was free entertainment, but he was quite desperate to help so it was actually fairly challenging to keep him from climbing into the hole. "Drive, drive, me, me, now, now!!!"
Sadly (our perspective) or excitingly (Matthew's) as the day progressed, the hole in the lawn got bigger and bigger. The workmen used saltier and saltier language. Finally it turned out that we were in the 30% of jobs where this method just didn't work. Out came my lilac tree ("Broke Broke" said Matthew in some distress. "Fix fix, now now!"). Out came part of the flower bed. Out came a whole pile of boulders that had been interfering - looks like the contractor who had waterproofed the foundation had thrown them back in around the foundation for some unknown reason (the rest of the lawn is all basically on top of sand). It still took them ages to extract the pipe, during which I tried not to look at my poor lilac, roots broiling in the sun and leaving drooping more and more. Eventually everything was done and all was placed back more or less the way it was.
The workmen were charmed by how excited Matthew was to watch them, and told him he could sit in the dumptruck and honk the horn. "Noooooo!" said my fickle child. "Too scary!!!". He wouldn't even let the worker honk the horn for him. But he did enjoy watching the seat go up and down and up and down.
Elizabeth's class went on their first field trip of the year today and I came along to supervise. Matthew and Daddy came to meet us at the museum (I do not share Elizabeth's love of school buses!)
Elizabeth had a great time, even though she was disappointed to discover that her friend Adi's class was in the group that wasn't going to the museum until later in the month. We did a program about rabbits, which was amusing in part because Elizabeth fancies herself an expert in looking after rabbits... So she was surprised to hear that rabbits in captivity mainly eat rabbit pellets (the one we look after does not) But she enjoyed petting Alfred very much - he spent much of his time hanging out near Elizabeth so she had a good chance to pat.
The class - a split jk/sk class - is small (22 kids) and only 14 went on the field trip - apparently due to protesting the new sex ed curriculum (!), so the level of chaos compared to last year was quite a bit lower. With the exception of one child who was also in Elizabeth's class last year, I thought the kids were all very well behaved and listened unusually well. Elizabeth's teacher commented that they enjoy stories and songs very much and therefore can usually be counted on to sit quietly on the carpet and behave during story time.