Isabelle celebrated three with a "princess" themed party. There were many princesses. Many hoo-hoos (owls) and many items in pink. Auntie Karen made some amazing glittery crowns for the youngest guests.
Auntie Janice dressed up as Princess Merinda's Scottish cousin so that Zee could have a real princess at her party. I thought she should have just claimed to be Princess Merinda with a dye job, but Janice was having none of it.
The kids had a marvellous time running around the backyard and playing "king/queen of the castle". We gave Isabelle a new swing which immediately saw heavy use.
Auntie Mary took the family out to East Side Mario's for my birthday! Matthew had dinosaur chicken fingers.
We celebrated my birthday with brunch at Dave and Karen's house. There were sausages, bacon, smiley potatoes and hash browns, mushrooms and eggs and fruit, cream and two kinds of English jelly (of course). I might have used some to make into Canadian flags in honour of the other celebration on July 1st.
My aunt Mary made the trip from Wellesley for my birthday. Auntie Janice had to work but provided balloons and a lovely birthday banner.
Grandma J made her famous gluten free sponge strawberry sponge cake. My parents skyped in from Angola and helped me blow out the candles (along with many small children).
Some of us braved the weather forecast for a boat ride. Brendan and Margaret sat in the car but the kids (sans Theo), Mary, Dave, Mike and I squeezed into the boat during the storm.
As soon as the driving rain let up we motored out. Time constraints meant we didn't actually hoist sail but the kids all greatly enjoyed getting to drive. Isabelle had a truly wicked glint in her eyes as she wildly swung the boat from side to side. It was a pretty good thing we didn't have sails when the under-threes were driving!
We headed home to the annual neighbourhood block party and the kids ran around like hooligans for a while and then it was time for fireworks. Our kids don't cope that well with late nights, so we made a deal that we'd do a movie night instead with canned fireworks. We replayed the highlight reel we took at Iain and Renée's wedding and watched minions.
Brendan and I toyed with actually going to see the real fireworks after the kids were in bed but the weather reminded me of the super cold, windy and miserable year the fireworks were cancelled so we played Scrabble instead.
In retrospect, perhaps I shouldn't have started the day by reading Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad day.
Well, actually it wasn't a terrible day until Matthew lost baby dinosaur at Bulk Barn. He was distraught, even though he had been told to leave the toy in the car. And he only lost the dinosaur because he was having a meltdown over not being allowed to hang off the (tippy) cart. In any case, baby dinosaur was gone and we were late for karate.
I promised I'd go back to Bulk Barn and leave our phone number in case they found him. Then we dashed off to karate. I sent Elizabeth into the dojo and promptly backed into the car behind us.
I was NOT HAPPY. Matthew, trying to be helpful, says: "Don't worry Mommy, I'm ready to go to Heaven". Mommy is NOT in the mood for a deep theological discussion, but while assessing damage, I figure out that Matthew is expecting that since Mommy has just broken the car we are all about to die. I explain that I appreciate his bravery but that we are not in imminent danger of death. "But you broke the car", he points out. Puzzled. I explain that there's not even a scratch on the other car, but I am a bit upset about the damage to ours. Matthew considers for a moment. "Mommy?" he says. "Maybe next time it would be better not to break our car." Noted.
On the plus side, at least it's the same corner I already massively gouged when the van was relatively new. "You like that corner" says helpful husband. There might have been some growling.
It is cherry season again! Dave and Karen's tree had a pretty amazing crop this year. There were many jokes about needing to prune the tree for easier ladder access. It was not quite as many as the 60 cup year Matthew and Isabelle were born but I took home quite enough with plans to make a cherry cheesecake or two. Elizabeth was at camp and Xander was at school but the three year olds stayed away from the ladder and even helped wash and pit!