September 15, 2017
Back to school plague

I had a minor tickle in my throat last night, but by the time I woke up I was feeling definitely ill.  The kids of course all decided they had to get up super early for school. I told them they could but I was going to nap for a few minutes until breakfast.


I promptly passed out cold. Amelia came and snuggled up to me. Matthew apparently amused himself with the camera. I slept until Amelia abruptly threw up.


She spent the morning throwing up, I lost my voice and by day's end my cold was deep in the lungs.


It should have been predictable. It's the nicest stretch of weather we've had since LAST September, prompting everyone to declare "summer is finally here!!". And we also have house guests. So of course it's time for the back to school plague.

1 photos / videos

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September 13, 2017

The kids have been sharing a room for about a month now and it's actually going pretty well.


There have been the usual and predictable complaints about siblings getting into each other's things, but Amelia seems to revel in her new status as being "big" enough to "have my OWN bed".


She goes to bed pretty peacefully and usually sleeps in it all night. I don't even nurse her to sleep anymore (she is still nursing, but we're down to before naptime, and maybe a couple of minutes before bed but not every night. Progress!!!)


Waking up is going well. The kids help each other get dressed (sometimes) and Matthew is generally sweet with Amelia in the morning.


Bedtime is rougher - mostly because it takes longer than I'd like. But to be fair this is not substantially different from the way it was before everyone was in one room. Matthew takes a long time to wind down and unfortunately likes to wind up his sisters by looming over Amelia's bed or kicking Elizabeth mattress from underneath. This is exactly the sort of prank my brother always played on me. I told Elizabeth to be thankful that he can't move the slats and make the mattress fall right down. She was horrified that Uncle Dave would get up to such shenanigans. Matthew couldn't stop giggling about it for a good five minutes.


Overall I'd say that the roommates experiment is going about as well as can be expected.

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September 10, 2017
Apple Picking and Kontinuum

It was a beautiful weekend and I heard the apples were early this year, so we packed a lunch and headed out to the apple orchard immediately after church.


The kids enjoyed climbing the ladder to pick apples, and playing in the play structure. We inspected the hay jump (AFTER picking apples) but decided there were too many kids for safety's sake. No more broken noses for us!


We lured the kids home with donuts, ate a quick supper and then headed out to Kontinuum.


This is a Canada 150 project where they set up all kinds of lights and sounds in the new Ottawa LRT train station. It was super cool, but I have to say that I would like to see the new station with the lights on as we didn't really get a good sense of the space with all the lasers and strobe lights everywhere.

43 photos / videos

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September 9, 2017
Bug Day 2017

I wanted to take the kids to Bug Day, but just as we were leaving the neighbours came over and wanted to play. The best solution was clearly to bring Mila and Simon along with me.


Each kid got a pick their own butterfly pin (and then describe the butterfly to learn about naming). The girls opted to do the face painting, but Simon apparently doesn't like face paint and so Matthew decided he wasn't going to do it either in case Simon felt left out.


An entomologist then took us on a field expedition to catch our own bugs. Elizabeth spent the time freaking out about all the bugs, but did calm down enough to catch a grasshopper. The other kids had a ball running around chasing various insects. The boys were told in no uncertain terms that they could NOT catch other kids. Matthew negotiated a loophole whereby he was allowed to catch himself, but not at the same time as any bugs. We learned about various collection techniques. I'm told they don't use the mouth suction device for collecting insects off dung or dead bodies. Seems fair.


Then we went inside to sample some bug cookies, pet some cockroaches and watch said cockroaches "race". The bugs covered in jewels are apparently a thing in some parts of the world - people attach the bugs to a chain, which they then clip onto themselves. The bugs then crawl all over them. "Live jewelry"!


Afterwards we checked out part of the open house happening around the corner. They have 16 mini greenhouses where they can manipulate a variety of growing conditions - light intensity, temperature (day/night), moisture etc. It was pretty interesting and the kids enjoyed this part the most because they got to play a DNA matching game that rewarded them with candy. And THEN on the way out everyone was presented with a free granola bar of the kind that contains more chocolate than food. Everyone agreed that science is awesome.

22 photos / videos

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September 7, 2017
Double Rainbow

One plus side of all the rain (aside from being able to jump in puddles) is that sometimes we get to see beautiful rainbows!


One downside is that if there are clear blue skies when you leave for the bus so you decide not to wear a rain jacket, inevitably that will be when it POURS and the bus will be late. Hooray for children who insist on wearing proper rain gear even if you don't, and for fellow-bus-wait-ers who live around the corner and can lend you an umbrella.

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