Kaitlyn and Michael came by this morning to play which was very fun. We introduced them to dance parties and then had (gluten free) pizza together for lunch.
At four Janice and the kids and I went to the museum of Nature to see butterflies. Elizabeth was in a state of near panic as usual but calmed down considerably once I handed over my phone and allowed her to take photos (she needed a distraction).
Then we headed over to the neighbours' for their annual piñata party.
We really wanted to see the butterfly exhibit at the Museum of Nature but their online system wasn't allowing us to reserve tickets so we went to pick some up.
Since the kids (and let's be honest - mommy...) were getting squirrelly at home, we decided to spend some time at the museum while we were there.
There's a new arctic exhibit that I hadn't had a chance to see yet which was nice. The kids loved the ice part, although Amelia wasn't too sure about actually touching it. The most interesting part for me was the arctic camel, which I'd never heard of before. There was lots of seating for the first part of the exhibit so I didn't get tired until suddenly there was no seating anymore. After that I just sat - mostly near the beginning of each section - while super Janice wrangled the kids through the various other exhibits.
In addition to taking my blood pressure and trying to keep my feet up, we've tried to do a few fun things these holidays.
It's been pretty cold, but they've spent a lot of time outdoors, especially between Christmas and New Year's when the wind was slightly less wicked. The neighbours helped Elizabeth and Matthew build an ice slide. Dec 27th Elizabeth had a playdate with her friend Ruici.
I cleaned out the craft cupboard (at least for some value of clean). Elizabeth graciously allowed her siblings to do some of the crafts that have been languishing there for several years. I was surprised by how long the princess sticker craft kept Matthew busy - he was quite determined to finish it and he managed to do most of it by himself. Once Elizabeth realized he was actually going to finish, she decided she needed to as well. This is actually her third attempt in the last four (five?) years but I guess her competitive nature needed to get engaged in order to actually capture her interest for longer than about five minutes.
We also pulled out Amelia's rocket ship from last Christmas and finally assembled it. I think the kids must have spent a solid hour colouring it inside and out.
We've done some reading and demolished the gingerbread. Elizabeth and Matthew built an obstacle course for his robot cockroaches. There were more dance parties.
On January 2nd, Elizabeth had a playdate with Olivia while Amelia went to the hardware store with Daddy. Matthew and I read about the sinking of the Titanic and did some work - which in his case involved playing Pokémon on the iPad. After lunch Brendan, Amelia, Matthew and I met up with Olivia and Elizabeth, Dianne, David and kids and Marit, Francesco and their kids at Landsdowne for more skating! Elizabeth was pretty excited to see so many people she knew on the ice. This time we were there for about 3/4 of an hour and Elizabeth completed 40 laps.
Brendan, Margaret and the older two kids went back one last time the following day and Elizabeth managed 67 laps in about 30 minutes (!)
Over the holidays Matthew had some homework to complete showing what he did, which I decided needed to be captured for posterity (we didn't actually see fireworks on Jan 1st but he was so proud of his idea that I just went with it)
That moment when you are at the awesome free skate by the Ottawa 67s (again) and you put your phone on the edge of the railing in order to tote around exhausted toddler and manage to use toddler to sweep phone off the railing. Turns out that phones are pretty durable through all the abuse doled out by kids and (ahem) people closing the trunk on them, but a seven foot drop onto concrete is too much. Possibly it would have helped if I'd actually closed the case, but in any case a new screen was required :(
Luckily my boss agreed to replace it (haha) and he even went early to the store to stand in line to do so since there were no appointments available prior to baby day.
One of the things we like to do when it's cold is to blow bubbles and fling hot water into the air and watch it freeze. Our bubble mix wasn't really right (and it was too windy) but the kids greatly enjoyed getting to fling their own hot water this year.
Since it was too cold to hang outdoors terribly long, we sorted through our craft cupboard and completed a few in order to liberate some space. We still have far more craft supplies than we realistically need but there was some progress.
I was surprised by how focussed Matthew was on completing his fairy. Elizabeth had been working on hers on and off in about half a dozen sessions since she was about four. Matthew completed his in one sitting, with very little help. This spurred Elizabeth into completing hers because she was not about to be outdone by a four year old!
We made ice balls again, but I wasn't able to talk Brendan into making them into lanterns. Maybe next year...