August 13, 2015
Ice Cream and Pony

We had an ice cream potluck and at first only a couple people showed up. This was perplexing because a number of folks had told me they were coming and had bought ice cream especially for the party. And then they weren't there! And despite that we had a LOT of ice cream so I sent Elizabeth and Daddy down to the waterfront to try to round up some ice cream eaters.

Some had gotten stranded on the trampoline - they had foolishly dried out in the sun and didn't want to get wet again. So they were bravely rescued by paddle boat.

In the end we had thirty odd ice cream eaters plus Taffy the dog and I was pleased, although Elizabeth was less pleased to find out that all the lemon got eaten up as she is very fond of lemon and was apparently planning to finish it off herself (ha!) I did not record how many ice creams my children consumed because I'm sure I would not have approved. Luckily they were very tiny cones.

After the ice cream party Squeegee the Pony was offering rides. Elizabeth and Matthew have been faithfully riding their bikes. Elizabeth rode many large circles all the way around the resort (off roading on the grass!) while waiting for her turn. 

Amelia has developed her own fan club who do not seem particularly phased by all the spitting up. The random adorable puppy belonged to some folks that stopped by to buy corn. Carol planted early, mid and late ripening corn this year (as they do every year at Bondi apparently) but it all ripened at once!

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August 12, 2015
Mr. Bear has another treasure hunt

We sent the kids on another treasure hunt. I actually made two hunts thinking we'd split into two groups but the ages didn't quite lend themselves to doing that.

So the kids did the "older kids" hunt first, then the hunt for the "little kids". The older kids hunt had written clues that they used to gather pieces of a map. They put the map together and then on the back it told them that the letters on the map could be arranged into a clue for the destination (boathouse). The little kids hunt had pictures of the next destination. The much easier puzzle gave them a picture of our canoe where we had hidden the treasure. I was very worried that the chocolates would have melted but the canoe provided sufficient shade!

Matthew started out with the others but he soon asked to be carried. Then he fell asleep in Daddy's arms, so Brendan put him to bed for a nap. Matthew cracked open an eye when he was laid down. Brendan promised to wake him up for Mr. Bear's treasure. Matthew firmly closed his eye again. Clearly he was exhausted!

The clues had been craftily arranged to require maximum back and forth. We were surprised by what the kids found hard ("Mr Bear's white cousin..." was particularly difficult!) The kids seemed to like that there were multiple water clues this year... I made up different criteria for people to fetch the clues in an effort to avoid the same person grabbing all the clues. Was slightly surprised when all but one of my dozen participants had blue eyes and when Elizabeth turned out to have the most exotic pets.

The piņata only lasted to the end of the line because the older kids at the end deliberately didn't destroy it so that everyone could get a turn. Matthew flatly refused to hit it (he was still waking up)

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August 11, 2015
Cottage Days

Took the oldest two kids canoeing. Elizabeth is still doing her paranoid "the canoe is going to tip I just know it stop tipping the canoe EEK" routine. Matthew just sat nicely in the canoe and enjoyed himself without trying to get out or otherwise get up to mischief. We saw two loons and paddled all the way to the sandbar, but didn't stop on the island as it was inhabited at the time.
At one point Matthew lay down and nearly went to sleep.

Sharing a room seems to be working out so far. Matthew goes to bed without an adult lying beside him. Then he stays there! He woke up in the night but Daddy just reminded him that Elizabeth is there and he went back to bed! Elizabeth has announced that when we get back to Ottawa they are going to share a room. Matthew told me that cribs are for babies. We are cautiously optimistic... Elizabeth and Matthew are getting into a bit of a routine. In the morning the kids get out of bed and play. Once Elizabeth even got them dressed and breakfasted. Every day we go biking and swimming - I've pledged to go for a daily swim and so far I've managed. Brendan thought it was too cold Monday though so he chickened out. I've been letting the kids roam around a bit on their own to visit the chickens or to the horse swing. Elizabeth clearly enjoys the freedom. They have been playing super well together. The kids had their annual ping pong instruction from Daddy, which consisted of Elizabeth yelling "hey I'm really good at this!" while wildly hitting the ball under various pieces of furniture and watching Daddy retrieve it. I was pleased to be nursing Amelia which precluded such activity... On cookout day there was a big storm but it stopped in time for hotdogs, corn and s'mores. Matthew was very excited about making his s'more but when he realized it was sticky he was super disappointed and had a meltdown. Everyone but Amelia spat their seed. Matthew managed a whole foot! Elizabeth did way better in practice than at the line and was kind of disappointed. But there is always next week!
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August 9, 2015
Off to the cottage

Auntie Janice and Elizabeth picked 17 ripe tomatoes before we left for the cottage! It's a bit late in the season to be away but luckily the lima beans will keep and I don't think we're going to feel tomato deprived...

I didn't get around to canning my peaches before we left, mostly because they were just not ripe enough (best laid plans foiled!). So in addition to the crib, a baby tent, 384 infant diapers, 4 bulk packages of wipes, a partial package of size 4 diapers and pull-ups because hope springs eternal on the potty training front, and twice the clothing I would normally bring due to the spit up issue... I also brought six baskets of peaches and canning supplies.

I told the kids there just wasn't space for bikes but they were quite shocked by the concept so I repacked everything and actually managed to cram them in. I did extract a promise from the kids that they would ride those bikes every day in order to justify bringing them...

I was hoping to leave by 10am and we actually ended up leaving around noon. I think it is fair to say that we would not have left before supper without help from our neighbour and Auntie Janice. And we didn't manage to inspect the garden, fertilize the fish tank, clean the turtles or mow our lawn before we left. I did give the boys a haircut though (Matthew's may have ended up a wee bit shorter than intended due to a moment of inattention) and we had two sets of neighbourhood kids in to help feed turtles, frogs and fish...

We stopped three times, but only once due to Amelia being fussy - the other two stops were required when we suddenly realized we had forgotten to buy supper! Otherwise the kids just chilled in the car. The kids skyped with flat Grandma and Grandpa, they read books and they slept. I drew Elizabeth a little map from Golden Lake to the cottage which she followed along fairly well.

Matthew of course managed to come down with a rash right before we left - more on that later...

It was super nice once we arrived and although we should have made supper and put the kids to bed we decided that we'd go to the beach instead. So we did!

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August 8, 2015
Brave Grandma

Grandma J has now taken all three kids to the park at once (by herself!) Today was the second time - she first managed this amazing feat last Saturday.

We spent our kidless time packing for the cottage

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