Matthew and Elizabeth have been taking lessons at Dovercourt again Tuesday afternoons. We felt that Elizabeth's instructor last time around was a bit of a pushover - the girls got along very well but when Elizabeth didn't want to do whatever it was her instructor asked Elizabeth just stalled and giggled and stalled some more. So progress was slow and we asked for a change. This time her instructor is much firmer - he literally pushed her into the pool when she was dithering about jumping in which is exactly what she needs. We're happy to report that she's not only swimming but actually starting to work on technique and stuff which is pretty exciting. And she now jumps in when instructed without five minutes of giggling first.
Expectations for Matthew have always been a bit lower given his age but he and his instructor Ross are great buddies. The other instructors have made it a point to tell us they think he and Matthew are the "cutest thing in the pool" and we have to agree.
Remember Baby Summit 2010? We got together with most of those not-so-baby kids again for a 2015 edition and this time the babies were old enough to play at the park! Amelia was the only actual baby this time around though. Francis and Victoria were there in 2010 even though we didn't get a photo for some reason. But Claire was in Toronto back then, and Natalie and Theo were across the pond this time. Simon and Matthew of course are more recent editions.
I was still not feeling that great, but it was really nice and warm so I figured a little fresh air couldn't hurt too much. There were lots of muffins, which were appreciated by my kids in great quantity.
Claire is a great organizer and kept trying to get all the other kids to line up and do various things. Elizabeth was quite willing to humour her except that she got confused by the rapidly changing and often conflicting instructions. "Hold my hand" Claire demanded, but then wouldn't put out her hand. It was most amusing, especially when Elizabeth later confided that "maternelles are like that sometimes". There was much playing. The dock was super attractive and everyone crowded onto it until it started to sink. After that we took turns.
The conversation was fun, the company was brilliant and it was totally sad that I wasn't feeling very well. Hopefully the next summit is sooner than 2020!
Elizabeth was sad that Nora couldn't come home and have a sleepover. We've promised to go to Boston in the spring...
After the apple picking hijinks my cold took a sharp turn for the worse. I seriously contemplated staying home from Thanksgiving dinner, but Matthew probably wouldn't have gone happily without me and the idea of no dinner plus dealing with the two youngest didn't seem appealing. Besides, I was sure it was mostly asthma, lingering on from the bad cold I'd been fighting.
But as the day wore on, my cough seemed to get worse. I probably should have taken my temperature at that point as I discovered a few days later that part of the problem was a persistent fever over 38.6C
I started to make food, but needed to deal with Amelia and asked Brendan and Janice to finish up. I had also been planning to make the pies, but was too cold to get out of bed and Amelia was not cooperating. So Janice took over and made her first pies ever! She tried three different recipes and we all got to compare. I was pretty thankful not to be cooking. It's probably a testament to how sick I was that I don't really remember much of Thanksgiving dinner.
The kids look like they had fun in the photos though! The jungle gym thing is from Just Play Toys rental place. Xander picked it to play with for a month as part of his birthday present. Elizabeth thought it was awesome!
I had rashly promised the kids we would go apple picking another day on the day of the nose, and it turned out that the twelve thousand visitors had pretty well cleaned out Mountain orchard the weekend we tried to go. Dianne told us that by the time they made it out there were only windfall apples left. I looked up a few other orchards in the area, but the season was pretty much over early this year. In fact, Kilmarnock didn't even open this season due to an unseasonal frost in the spring.
So I knew that if we were going to go apple picking this year, this weekend would be the last possibility. I also thought it might be a good idea for Elizabeth to go back to the scene of her accident as she was declaring that she was never going to play in the straw jump ever ever again. The weather was a little chilly, but it was sunny and we figured that we'd better seize the moment. So we called Auntie Heather and headed to the orchard.
The kids really enjoyed their tractor ride and picking up apples from under the trees. Elizabeth at first refused to go into the straw jump place but I talked her into taking a picture with the wooden people and after that she suddenly was willing to play a bit in the straw (but Very carefully). No one was hurt and I think Elizabeth slayed a couple of bogeymen - she was certainly proud of herself and we were proud of her too!
The man at the orchard giving instructions had heard about Elizabeth's accident and was very happy to see that she was okay! There was much playing in the playstructures and wandering through the corn maze. Elizabeth would have liked to stay longer but Matthew and I had both had colds the previous couple of weeks and while we had been on the mend Matthew didn't seem to be feeling that great. And actually, I was also feeling rather chilled so was happy to head home.
At four months, Amelia has discovered how to roll over! Front to back and back to front. She tends to roll from her back to her front and then sits way up high on her belly, the better to grab at the target object (there's always a target object).
She has a long attention span and loves to play with her toys... and some of her siblings' toys too. This is not always sanctioned - after Matthew's beloved (tiny) plastic dinosaur was rescued from her mouth we've started talking to the kids about putting things away they don't want eaten or destroyed. "We can just rescue it from her poo, like that bead Matthew ate when he was a baby" said Elizabeth helpfully.
She's definitely spitting up less, although she has not exactly stopped. She's actually been known to go a whole day without puking on anyone, but then she tends to make up for it shortly thereafter.
She's still a great sleeper. Frequently I put her down at night around 7pm, she wakes up briefly for a snack around 10pm and 2am before waking up again at 7am. I usually sleep through the 2am feeding. Actually she doesn't really wake up all the way - with her eyes firmly closed she just opens her mouth and wiggles around until she finds food! She's now mobile enough that I've started paying attention to where I leave her as we don't want her to roll off the bed!
She's a very happy and smiley little girl who is easy to look after - I'm very much enjoying her babyhood. Grandma J was surprised when I said that as our perceptions are entirely different. I feel like Amelia hardly ever cries and when she does it's always for a good reason that can be fixed. BUT... everyone else assures me that is only true if I'm the one holding Amelia. She's happy to be held by others under the right circumstances. Once she's decided she wants Mommy she's got quite an incredible wail and I am told it does NOT stop until I arrive.