May 21, 2016
Karate nationals

Elizabeth's dojo was participating in the karate nationals and Elizabeth was really keen to go and see the tournament. I think the last time I mentioned karate Elizabeth had just received her white yellow belt and graduated to the "big kids" class.


The transition from tykes to kids was kind of rough. The classes looked similar to me but apparently they are a little more serious and she was upset that "her" sensei was no longer there (that sensei teaches tykes). Then Adi got a stripe and Elizabeth didn't, despite going more often. So Elizabeth was discouraged and I spoke to the sensei about it and they gave her a pep talk which perked her up quite a bit. Then a couple of classes later she finally got her stripe and suddenly karate was okay again.


Anyway, classes were cancelled because of the nationals and Elizabeth pointed out that if we went to watch it wouldn't take any extra time because normally we go to karate anyway and it's FREE Mom! So, Brendan dropped me and the kids off at the hotel where it was taking place downtown and we went to see what it was all about.


It took me about thirty seconds to ascertain that perhaps bringing my highly impressionable young son to an event where people were kicking, punching and using weapons (!!!) was not my brightest move ever. But he was enthralled. They got bored approximately five minutes after we arrived and Matthew immediately started emulating his surroundings. "KARATE PUNCH!" he yelled. Everyone thought he was cute, except Elizabeth who was annoyed that he was stealing her thunder. But then Elizabeth's old sensei was competing and she got to watch her win a silver and that was pretty exciting!


Afterwards we took the bus home and I used my ninja skills to keep a slightly over-excited Matthew from punching everything in sight.

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May 20, 2016
Decision making study

Matthew participated in a University of Ottawa study on how young kids make decisions about the future. You might remember Elizabeth's abortive attempt to participate in a language development study way back in the day - I'm happy to report that Matthew was considerably more cooperative for this one!


The researcher had Matthew play with some toys for a few minutes and showed him how mommy was going to be able to see and hear him all the time. Then she asked him to come play with her in the "tree room" and the "sun room". The tree room is the one with the orange table. Matthew sat across the table and the researcher announced that she had "some work to do for a few minutes" and he had to wait for the timer to go off. There was nothing to do but wait. Matthew being Matthew chattered away pretty unceasingly at the researcher, although he did subside for up to thirty seconds at a time when she reminded him that "she had to work". Then they went to the sun room, where she gave him candy to keep him occupied and she did more "work" for the same amount of time. They were in each room twice. In the tree room - no candy. In the sun room - there was candy (also note the hole beside the green chair. Apparently there was no hole at the start of the study and it has increased in size with every kid. Shockingly, Matthew did NOT pick at the wall. Probably he wasn't in there long enough....) At the end the researcher told Matthew that next time he came there would be extra candy and he could choose which room to put it in. He chose the "sun room", so that he could eat candy at both locations. Afterwards he seemed to think it had all been good fun and wanted to go back. He especially liked that he got to choose a prize at the end. He picked a bubble wand to match one that Elizabeth has. He used up his bubbles and filled the rest of it with sand the same day he got it. Meanwhile, Elizabeth received her bubbles two years ago and has kept it in pristine condition. Not that there is any difference at all between their personalities...

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May 19, 2016

It's spring in our neighbourhood - beautiful flowers everywhere! Elizabeth found a blue jay egg on the way home from the bus stop and there's a woodpecker cavity across the street! We might live downtown but there's an incredible diversity of birds (we counted nineteen different species from here to the bus stop the other day!)

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May 18, 2016
REACH Coop: Egypt

Elizabeth has now completed the second half of the homeschooling (REACH) co-op units that we did this year - this time on ancient Egypt.


She had great fun and apparently did so many crafts that she decided to call all of it "art class".

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May 17, 2016
Son for sale

Matthew has been pushing boundaries lately and doing things just to see what will happen.


Exhibit A is a series of texts I received from Brendan while in music class with Elizabeth:


So basement toilet is so closed that it isn't even draining slowly...

Matthew apparently "accidentally" used too much toilet paper

Want a son? I have a special deal...

Plunging doesn't work.

"I think I put the whole roll in"

Might have to take the toilet off.

I'll need to take a look when I don't have children who are trying to puddle in it.


We didn't photograph the toilet disaster, but Matthew has learned how to take photos on a locked iphone. He thinks it's funny to hold down the button and take photos on burst mode until my phone runs out of memory "I be filling up your phone, Momma! I need to take MILLIONS".

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