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May 31, 2015

Elizabeth was invited to Aidan's sixth birthday party. It had a chemistry theme - how fun is that?!

There was a chemistry themed ice-cream cake. Jello / gummy bears served in petrie dishes. "Lab coats" made out of garbage bags. A diet coke and mentos geyser. They blew up balloons using baking soda and vinegar - Elizabeth was hilariously cautious with the balloon - I guess she was quite concerned that the balloon would pop in her face or something!

The kids played with acids and bases using cabbage as an indicator solution. They made glow in the dark worms and played with glow in the dark ice cubes floating on oil. Elizabeth was super into the oily ice cubes, which surprised me because usually she avoids all the messy stuff - a good reminder not to make assumptions about what the kids will and won't like! There was some fun with surface tension and soap.

Dianne and David acquired 25 pounds of dry ice for the occasion which they used liberally throughout the party for special effects and science. There was fizzy, smoking apple juice to drink, though Elizabeth was deeply suspicious of it and only had one sip. They blew enormous bubbles in a bowl. Then put out candles with the carbon dioxide and tried to float tiny bubbles on it but the kids just wanted to chase and pop the bubbles so didn't cooperate long enough to really see the effect - oh well!

The party ended with David chucking the remainder of the dry ice into the pool :)

It's pretty safe to say that all had a fantastic time!


May 30, 2015

Elizabeth has been working hard to gain new skills lately. She does her own laundry Saturday mornings now (though she still needs help opening the dryer as we don't allow her to yank it open while standing on the step stool and Daddy prefers to double-check how much detergent she is using!)

Her latest accomplishment is that she can make pancakes from start to finish without assistance. It's possible that Mommy likes to hover just in case as hot pans and kids make me a little nervous...

The first time she made them completely by herself the neighbour dropped by and were so impressed that they brought their kids over to prove that yes, six year olds CAN cook pancakes all by themselves. We were somewhat amused. Elizabeth was spurred on to new heights and insisted on cooking all our meals for the rest of the day.


May 29, 2015

Flat Grandma and Grandpa have made it back to Canada temporarily and Grandpa even made it to Ottawa for a couple of days before heading off to help celebrate Great Grandma's 90th birthday.

Matthew has been insisting on calling Grandpa "Grandma" for some reason, but both kids really enjoyed having him around.


May 28, 2015

We are finding Elizabeth's reading level really hard to assess because it is so variable depending on the day and her mood. Some days she is easily reading well above grade level and others she spends about a minute sounding out easy three letter words that she has been reading for years now. As a result, she is quite shy about reading out loud so we figured an incentive to practice (confidence booster!) would not be a bad idea.

One of my homeschooling boards posted an idea to encourage reading and I thought it was brilliant - not only does it use stickers right when Elizabeth was feeling left out that Matthew was getting stickers to encourage potty training - but it promised a prize at the end and Elizabeth loves prizes! Ironic that the stickers for potty training didn't keep being motivating very long for Matthew, but Elizabeth kept reading in order to get hers! Ah well. We sneakily designed the board in such a way that we could work on our tens and units counting skills at the same time...

Anyway, she duly completed her reading chart just in time to play hooky from school with Maria and go to the Midway as her prize! Maria got to come too as her birthday present - we needed something that Auntie Yukiko didn't need to pack... Since it was a weekday, we had the entire place to ourselves! Unfortunately Matthew wasn't allowed to go on the bumper cars as he was too small to go by himself and I am too pregnant to accompany him. There were many, many tears. I consoled him with a train ride but he was quite desperate to drive the cars "soon". I think the staff felt sorry for him as they didn't charge for the train. Elizabeth and Maria of course went on four rides in a row. Elizabeth spent the entire time driving in circles. Maria spent most of her time slamming into the sides - back and forth and back and forth. There was much wild giggling. Let's just say neither of them are good drivers yet...

The most popular part of the afternoon was the Jungle gym / bouncy castle. I was a little worried I'd have to rescue Matthew from the tunnels but luckily the girls were big enough to help him over the tricky parts so there was minimal crawling required from me.

Elizabeth would like to start a new reading chart so she can go back...


May 27, 2015

Elizabeth has a second shark tooth coming through so we decided to go visit the orthodontist sooner rather than later.

We picked the one that had the most recommendations (three different friends AND our dentist mentioned him) and headed off. It's a pretty swanky office and I was impressed by their little tour even if none of the staff was able to answer my only real question - namely HOW BIG IS THAT FISH TANK?!!?! (Yes, we are easily distracted...)

Elizabeth at first refused to open her mouth even though the orthodontist was careful to tell her that they do not have any needles on the premises. I have a feeling our next dental visit is going to be a challenge, even if it isn't another extraction. Sigh. In any case, we were very happy to hear that Elizabeth's jaw looks pretty good and we do not require any orthodontic care yet, though some work in the future is a near certainty.

Even better, it looks like the second adult tooth managed to dissolve enough of the root that we'll be able to wiggle it out before we need to get it extracted. We're now doing daily "tooth exercises". Matthew of course is super jealous and has been trying to loosen his teeth too. Let's hope he doesn't succeed.


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