I didn't think Amelia would get a chance to try out a swing for the first time in 2015, but it was super warm and the other two were very insistent that she wanted to have a turn too. So in she went for some (gentle) swinging. Elizabeth helped Matthew into his swing and then pushed both of them in one of those "this is why we had more than one" moments!
Amelia seemed to enjoy swinging.
Friends Rachel and Andrew from the cottage invited us to participate in a kid's vote. We decided it would be fun to mail in ballots from Ottawa so printed up a bunch. We voted in two locations. Polling officer Auntie Janice was much more strict than I was, but I'm sure it was more educational! If I hadn't been so ill we might have gone more full out (there was talk of lawn signs between the neighbours since they were participating!) In the end we managed 16 Ottawa voters out of 29 ballots in total.
The kids had no trouble figuring out what to vote for on their own, except for the political party question. I got Elizabeth to do a quiz to figure out which party she most closely aligned with, although I did skip some questions as they would have required too much explaining of totally unfamiliar concepts ("what's a pipeline?" turned out to be challenging enough!) Then I told her she either had to vote Green or Blue. She really wanted to vote red though, because it's closest to pink (I have no idea what she ended up voting for). Quite a few kids voted based on colour, to some consternation when they insisted on picking the "wrong" party in their parents' opinion... Most of the Ottawa crew had never heard of Geronimo Stilton before. It's new to us as well - I guess we'll have to get it out of the library!
In the end the Conservative Party, Ice Cream, and Spiderman won!
Here is final the breakdown:
Green 9 31%
Liberal 4 14%
NDP 1 3%
Conservative 15 52%
Pizza 4 14%
Kraft Dinner 3 10%
ice cream 13 45%
cake 9 31%
Bob the Builder 4 14%
Elsa 6 21%
Spiderman 7 24%
Winnie the Pooh 1 3%
Geronimo Stilton 4 14%
Mickey Mouse 0 0%
Lightning McQueen 2 7%
Strawberry Shortcake 5 17%
Frost is finally in the air. We've brought in all the tomatoes and even our poor watermelon plants (yeah - that didn't work that well...) As the outdoor garden winds up for the season it's nice that at least some of our plants aren't hibernating for the winter.
The aquarium plants are thriving. Perhaps Brendan has overdone it slightly - he regularly has to be quite aggressive with the pruning shears lest the fish run out of space to swim....
We celebrated Grandma J's birthday with lasagna and carrot cake. By this point I was too sick with what turned out to be pneumonia to even contemplate cooking. So Auntie Janice came to the rescue again. She might have had a wee bit too much fun decorating the cake - it looked fantastic!
Somewhere around here I did actually go to the doctor and get fancy antibiotics and prednisone and stuff like that. Matthew and Amelia both had quite the coughs too. Brendan slept in a different room for a couple of weeks away from what we dubbed the "percussion section" in an attempt to keep one functional parent. Even so, at the peak I received simultaneous texts from the other occupants of the house demanding to know if we were okay - I guess all that coughing was pretty impressive. Thankfully, although I've been having to go to bed with the kids and been taking it very, very easy, the drugs did help reverse the slide into ill health!
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.