February 11, 2016
Matthew is 3

At three, Matthew is very sweet, very noisy and a little mischievous.

He is a real talker, although people don't always understand him unless they've had some time to learn "Matthew". Part of the problem - he rarely stops talking even to breathe, so if you've missed something it's easy to get lost in the sheer volume of words. He does not appear to be able to pronounce the /kuh/ or /ell/ sounds yet, which further complicates matters.

Favourite words or catch-phrases: "Actually" "Help is on the way!" "I can't do that until Thursday" "Why can't spiderman have a balloon? He'll shoot his web at you!" "Peese may me see dat?"

He now calls Elizabeth "Livbeth" instead of "DeeDee" and Amelia "Melia" instead of "Meelee". Interestingly Elizabeth made a fairly concerted effort to switch him back. "I won't play with you if you call me that. Call me DeeDee or Emma." and he does try half-heartedly for a few minutes but she's definitely losing the battle.

He's still a very musical child and loves to do "his" piano practice just like Elizabeth. He's very particular about needing to use his own music book for practice. Often he sings along ("like Lorianne"). I think the result is hilarious, even if it's a stretch to describe it as music!

He loves spiders, building stuff out of lego, playing with forts, cutting stuff up with scissors (not always sanctioned), reading books, cuddling with Mommy and Curious George.

The potty training app helpfully emailed me this week with the opening line "So... You must be done potty training now, right?" HA! The timer part is still good and I can see hope in the future but HAHAHAHA not quite there yet. New spiderman underwear for his birthday from his sisters was a big hit and he's in underwear more often than not. There have been a few puddles (sigh), but if he remembers that he's in underwear (helped by frequent reminders) he goes pee all by himself. Less popular was Mommy and Daddy deciding that we are done dealing with toddler poop where possible - he now has to wash his own bum (Outraged son: "but it's TOOOOOO YUCKY!!!" Mean parent: "Then use the toilet") He's at least trying the toilet occasionally but this clearly is still a challenge for him. And one of the times he forgot he was wearing underwear had truly horrifying results. Of course he lost his head and went charging up the carpeted stairs for help leaving Poor Poor Auntie Janice to discover the "presents" left behind.

Ahem - so... Anyway. On his birthday Matthew requested that he have YOTS of candles and YOTS of cake. I think we delivered. Amelia was allowed to sample some cake for the first time. She approved. Matthew wanted to go to the dinosaur museum and to see spiders so we went to the Museum of Nature. He enjoyed the current bug exhibit that's visiting although he flatly refused to pretend to be a dung beetle and push around the giant (brown) bean bags on the grounds that they might be smelly. He very sweetly explained to Amelia everything that I explained to him, and asked me to take pictures of certain things "for Elizabeth" since she was at school and couldn't see them. "Livbeth yikes butterfies." "Livbeth yikes elefunt beetles cuz she yikes elefunts".

34 photos / videos

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February 9, 2016

The canal might not be cooperating for Angie's visit, but we are very pleased to have her visit (especially the kids, who have been asking when she's coming for a number of weeks now).

Karen and the kids came over this afternoon to hang out. It was not calm or sedate and I immediately vowed to limit free play time at Elizabeth's birthday party later this month on the grounds that we would otherwise break all noise bylaws. We did get a brief Skype call in with my parents, who I think were amused by all the commotion.

8 photos / videos

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February 7, 2016

We were away the first weekend in Winterlude so missed the best weekend for ice sculptures. But Angie has arrived for her much anticipated annual visit so after church we went with Angie to take a look.

It was so warm the previous week that we were expecting total destruction, but actually it wasn't as bad as I feared, aside from the poor Japanese entry all smashed to bits.

Elizabeth was at a birthday party, so she missed out. She only minded a little bit, after checking to make sure we hadn't consumed any BeaverTails without her!

16 photos / videos

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February 6, 2016
First stripe!

I've mentioned in passing that Elizabeth is taking karate lessons; she had wanted to do an extracurricular activity with Adi and after complex schedule comparisons with Adi it became clear that it was a choice between hockey or karate. Hockey was on the weekends (which we try to keep clear of commitments) and Brendan isn't keen on anything that might lead to becoming hockey parents. Karate also had the attraction of multiple options a week but no requirement or expectation to attend all sessions. As it turns out, Aidan's been trying to talk Elizabeth into trying karate for ages but she flatly refused to go or even hear what karate was, but when I told her Adi was going to be there she was super excited.

So we went to try out karate. For some reason I was under the impression that Adi had only recently joined, but it turned out that she's been taking classes for nearly a year and is already a yellow belt.

Elizabeth immediately decided two things.

1) She likes karate.

2) She's going to every class she can until she catches up to Adi

Today she got her first stripe and she was SUPER proud. She's been teaching Matthew and Amelia a few moves - apparently one of the warm up exercises involves belly crawling across the floor and Amelia is perfectly able to do that ;)

4 photos / videos

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February 4, 2016
Three at a time

We've been having a rather warm winter so far and while we have had some snow the high temperatures and warm sun made everything melty. Then it got cold again and there was a slick layer of ice over everything. It was quite challenging to get up the hill but apparently an amazing slide down.

The kids are taking swimming lessons again at Dovercourt and I took all three of them by myself. We got there with enough time to play in the snow first. After swimming, I took the whole crew to the grocery store where I discovered that Amelia is now big enough to sit in the cart. This does not stop random strangers from trying to touch her head. Elizabeth pushed her siblings in the cart and I tried to stack the groceries in a way that would not get destroyed by a wiggly son. Still have much respect for single parents, still prefer to shop with husband in tow.

8 photos / videos

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