Lent has begun!
We had chocolate chip muffins for breakfast (partly because it's much easier to put candles into muffins than cereal!)
Elizabeth has been looking forward to eight because it's the age in Ontario where you no longer require a car seat of any kind. I wasn't so sure, but turns out she has a tall torso so not only is it legal but it appears to be safe as well. I fear it won't be long before she is taller than me...
Eight is fun because it's the age at which Elizabeth is picking up many new skills and/or surpassing her parents. She can play the piano better than either of us, and Daddy admits she's a now better swimmer and skater than he is (I'm not ready to concede... Yet). We sent her skating with Rachel and her family on the canal and she apparently did the length and held her own with the adults. Eight is the age when she can change a diaper, bake a cake by herself, and we're comfortable sending her outside to play with the neighbours.
Eight is pretty sensible and generally follows the rules. Elizabeth likes to know what is permitted and not permitted, so we give her a fair bit of lee-way. Eight is lenient with siblings tagging along, at least most of the time. She doesn't like them "meddling" with her things without permission though.
It's our family tradition that we go to a restaurant of the birthday girl or boy's choice. Elizabeth picked Swiss Chalet (of course). Elizabeth was thrilled that Auntie Mary was around and could come with us. We had cake afterwards at home.
You might recall from last year that Elizabeth's stuffed raccoon "Rocco" has a birthday on February 27th. If not, that's okay - I didn't either until the children very sweetly asked if they might have cake and candles. I was tempted to retort that they'd had quite a lot of cake and candles already this month in the ordinary course of things but I too have a sweet tooth, so cake it was!
In a remarkable coincidence, Matthew's stuffies tend to share birthdays with Elizabeth's, especially when there is a birthday celebration looming.
Angie and Auntie Mary helped finish cutting out a pretty amazing dinosaur puzzle that I'd printed originally for his birthday party and Matthew decided it just HAD to be dino's birthday. The dinosaur actually was intended to be made out of wood but it worked already out of card stock.
I was pleasantly surprised when Elizabeth announced she only wanted to invite three people to her party. "It's just my very best friends", she said. "At least the ones that aren't already coming to the pool party!".
Turns out that she actually had five very best friends that absolutely HAD to come to her party. Three from school (Adi, Olivia and Vita), one from church (Karis) and one from swimming (Ruici).
She decided that what she wanted to do was to play video games. I might have suggested a few extra activities because just video games seemed like too much screen time to this mama. Decorating shirts was super popular. Hitting the tennis ball with the panty hose "elephant trunk" was interesting only for about two minutes.
Everyone seemed to have a good time.
The deal with our older kids was that they could have a small "friends" party, if they agreed to combine their so-called "family" parties. Since the pool has a bigger guest capacity than my house, and since both Elizabeth and Matthew wanted to invite some of the same people to their parties, the guest list morphed into family/neighbours/close friends of the family.
It was super fun. We kept the dinosaur theme from Matthew's friend party earlier in the month and added elephants for Elizabeth.
After the party we wound down by taking photos with bear, as we do...