July 5, 2015
Flattening Grandma and Grandpa

It's been a hectic month, in which we welcomed two babies, baptized Amelia and said goodbye to the Sunnyside crew.

It was really nice to have Grandma and Grandpa H here in person during this time but the time came to say goodbye. Auntie Janice, Dan, Brendan and I took the kids to the park while Mom and Dad did some last minute packing and Uncle Dave and Auntie Karen had some time to recharge

We took the opportunity to celebrate birthdays - and yes, for those of you counting - that was four birthday parties for five people in five days. Mom was less surprised than Dad - his birthday isn't until the end of August but Elizabeth always prefers to eat cake. I made a two layer raspberry black forest cake which I assembled after the candles were blown out. This worked better in my head than in reality, but the end result was tasty. Grandpa cooked supper.

Matthew passed out on the way to the airport and could hardly rouse himself enough to give last minute hugs. Elizabeth seemed to be handling all the goodbyes okay, until she had to be physically pried off Grandma at the airport. But they will likely be back next year on furlough, so it's not for too long.

34 photos / videos

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July 4, 2015
Isabelle is TWO
Isabelle is now two and so we went to her house to celebrate with many butterflies (she loves butterflies at the moment). She's starting to talk more understandably now. She's quite hilarious. Like Matthew she relies a great deal on "uh huh". She was cracking me up the other day when we went for a walk and she told me all about the things she saw on the way: "A car. A backpack. A grass. A tree. A dog. A grass. A backpack. A backpack. A daddy. A backpack!" (She was pretty proud of the new backpack). At the party there were lemon and sprinkle cupcakes. Isabelle was not quite as keen to blow out the candles as Matthew and Xander were. Especially Matthew! Not to mention many other yummy treats! Isabelle was a little overwhelmed by all the presents but seemed to enjoy herself greatly.
34 photos / videos

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July 3, 2015
One month

At one month Amelia is sleeping less - but since she was averaging 20 hours or something that is not surprising. She seems to have three main periods of prolonged wakefulness- around 7am, around 6pm and at 2am. She's awake other times too, but not quite as long. She can now lift her head up by herself, but not for very long yet. She still startles quite a lot, especially when sleeping.

Sadly, she is also getting fussier right on schedule (6 weeks old is allegedly "peak fussiness" for babies). Mom can usually calm her down but if Daddy has her at bedtime she screams till she passes out. We think much of the screaming is related to reflux issues, or needing to burp. Auntie Janice swears by the secret of a clean shirt. Put on clean clothes and Amelia will shortly puke all over them. After that she tends to be happier.

Amelia is definitely a spitter. She can go hours without throwing up but then will spit a dozen times in the space of an hour. This is unpleasant for all concerned. I've taken to bringing a spare shirt for myself when I go out in public, because sometimes I get soaked beyond what I am willing to endure. We use a lot of receiving blankets as spit cloths.

On the plus side, she now weighs 8 pounds 8.5 ounces so is clearly not having issues gaining weight. Elizabeth has become quite proprietary again - I handed her off to a neighbour on Canada Day for a cuddle and Elizabeth came running to me "Mom! Did you know that some lady has MY baby!" She likes very much to hold her, especially if I don't make her sit down first, and she loves to help give Amelia a bath. I mostly showered with the older two because it was easier and they screamed less (could be nursed!) but Amelia seems to be ok either way. Maybe having an elder sibling or two cooing over you helps!

5 photos / videos

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July 2, 2015
Off to Japan

We all gathered together again for lunch to bid adieu to Auntie Yukiko and the girls as they are leaving for Japan at 5am tomorrow morning.

We surprised Yukiko with an early birthday celebration with two cakes because there were a lot of us and Yukiko's favourite cake that I make is not nut free.

After lunch, Grandma and Grandpa H took Matthew for a drive so that he would have a desperately needed nap after staying up until 10pm for fireworks last night. Yukiko and the girls (including Elizabeth) went to say goodbye to their totally empty house and then to Brewer park. When Grandma, Grandpa and Matthew came back after a successful drive-by napping, we decided it would be good to get calendar pictures done rather than leaving it to the last minute. Since Elizabeth was at Brewer park the whole lot of us went to the park to take pictures. It was nice for Dave and Karen and Grandma and Grandpa to get a chance to say a proper goodbye to Yukiko and the girls too, since lunch ended in kind of a hurry to get many small children napping or to the park! There was much playing in the park. I was originally just going to drop by but it became clear that it would be cruel not to let the kids play together as long as possible and it was just such a gorgeous day I didn't really want to go back home anyway. Besides, who knows how long it will be before I get to watch my nieces be dare-devils on the play structure again.

At bedtime, Matthew insisted on having "Ahi" (Erika) put him to bed. I found the various "lasts" quite emotional - we are REALLY going to miss these guys.

39 photos / videos

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July 1, 2015
Canada Day Part 1: Aviation Museum

Auntie Janice often has to work on Canada Day, so we decided to head to the Aviation Museum to see what she was up to!

There were airplanes and maple leaf tattoos. We came in time to see the Police Tactical unit rappelling down from the ceiling (upside down!!) and checked out the fire services gear. I'm always amazed by how heavy that stuff is.

After the rappelling Xander got to assist in a magic show just for us! The magician gave him a foam ball to squeeze and kept the other. It vanished and turned up in Xander's hand. Then he repeated the trick so that Xander had three balls in his hand. "Keep them for a souvenir", he said as they all vanished. Xander seemed quite bemused and we were all impressed.

We intended to meet Auntie Janice at the space exhibit during her break, but we walked by the mobile science booth with all kinds of cool demos and it was many minutes before we could convince the kids to move on. Uncle Dave asked Xander if he knew what the (old fashioned) telephone was for. Nope! They particularly enjoyed knocking over the cups with the air cannon.

As we were making our way towards the space exhibit, a drum concert by BAM Percussion started. It was too loud for Amelia's sensitive baby ears (and frankly mine too) but the others went to watch part of it and I'm told it was completely amazing. I thought it was pretty cool just listening to it but I'm told that the performance took it to a different level. Hopefully we'll get to see them again sometime when we have ear protection!

We finally made it upstairs to the new space discovery centre. It has foam arrows you can fire so that was of course what we ended up doing for the rest of our visit. The arrows WERE fun though.

On our way home we were pleased that we had decided to come for the first few hours of the morning instead of later because the Aviation Parkway was backed up quite a long ways with people wanting to park having to wait for visitors to leave! I guess there were a lot of visitors, though it hadn't felt excessively crowded at the time.

24 photos / videos

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