July 17, 2018
Rainbow Camp

Elizabeth and Matthew are at camps this week and Amelia was moderately sad she wasn't going to camp too. Not sad enough to agree to sit on the toilet, mind you, but sad enough that when she suggested that she could do "rainbow camp" at home I kind of went with it.


It was fairly easy to plan because I mostly just asked Amelia what one does at rainbow camp and it turned out that at rainbow camp we paint, we play with rainbow playdough, we do science experiments, and we eat rainbow food (the fish carcass is rainbow trout - I only thought to take a photo after we had mostly devoured supper). Sometimes we water the garden in the sunshine, scooter up and down the street, climb on the play structure and love our baby brother. Rainbow volcanos were probably her favourite activity, even though technically they were supposed to overflow (I couldn't bring myself to make that much mess).


I stayed away from baking and the candy experiments because Amelia is supposed to be on a low sugar diet but even so we had a great deal of fun. Elizabeth and Matthew were always interested to find out what Amelia had gotten up to while they were away and insisted on doing the homemade scratch art too.

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July 16, 2018
First Grading for Erika and Maria

Erika and Maria got their yellow belts at karate. We were away for grading so they had their own mini grading with one other student during the regular Monday class. Elizabeth came along to teach and we all got to go into the dojo to watch close up. The main difference was that the students weren't asked to state their name, age and favourite thing about karate.


The girls looked good! I think they were both very happy to get their belts.

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July 15, 2018
Rideau River Provincial Park

Camping this year was back at Rideau River Provincial Park. I booked at "the closest campsite to the beach" but somehow we ended up at 301, which was very nice but not super close to the beach.


Portia and Ben, Dave and Dianne and their kids, Janice, Yukiko and her girls and our family stayed both nights. Heather and Andre also came for both nights but missed a number of meals due to other commitments. Dave and Karen and their kids arrived Saturday morning, and Lauren and Ronnie and their kids, and Suzanne and Olivia (Elizabeth's good friend from school) arrived Saturday evening. Lauren and Ronnie brought along former neighbour Lindsay. Ronnie and little Charlotte didn't stay overnight, but came back Sunday morning. It was a busy place with lots of little ones.


We had loaded sweet potatoes and potatoes for supper, bacon and eggs for breakfast, fajitas for lunch, chili (tradition!!) for second supper, mini cereals (tradition!!), yogurt and muffins for second breakfast, and soup, sandwiches and salad for second lunch. The food was wonderful and the company even better!


We bought a 10 person tent for all the girls after deciding that there were too many girls to fit into a smaller tent, the littlest probably not ready to be by themselves just yet and the older ones insisting they could not be split up. Maria started out in the girls tent but there was a kerfuffle the first night involving teeth and elbows and Erika and Maria were invited to split up in order to keep the peace. The tent was not entirely satisfactory as it was defective and required duct tape in order to be completely set up. Of course it also started collapsing after the rain during the first night caused our duct tape repair to fail. Luckily we brought a whole roll of tape and our second repair attempt worked better than the first.


Aidan and Matthew welcomed Xander into the "boys" tent on night two. I'm happy to report that aside from a leaky tent the boys had no problems at all getting along, though there might have been some "bothering" of the girls.


There was much beach time. Some people got a lot of bug bites.

There were bottle rockets (during which we learned that our children lack a strong sense of self preservation, but Ben does not) and glow balls, s'mores and a camp fire between the hours of 5pm and 10pm to respect the partial fire ban in effect.


And there were sparklers, for the last time. Turns out that sparklers are classified as fireworks and it's completely illegal to have them in a provincial park (and even in the city of Ottawa except three days a year). I'm still a bit stunned by this, especially since Dianne specifically asked about whether it was okay to burn sparklers during a partial fire ban and got the go ahead. Park ranger was all "front staff are students and don't know anything". Matthew and Elizabeth were seriously bummed. Matthew because he was sad the adults didn't get a chance to light their sparklers (we were saving ours to write with, as per tradition) and Elizabeth because she realized that we aren't bringing sparklers next year.


Elizabeth also said I had to mention that they got to learn this really cool game, that you play with a ball and you throw it from person to person. "Football?" I asked. "Yes!!! How did you know??" she asked. Apparently she really liked learning how to play football. She also enjoyed the "secret passageway" to the beach, and playing at the beach. Matthew's favourite part was swimming at the beach and his least favourite part was getting told off by the park rangers for having sparklers. Amelia's favourite part was eating s'mores. Her least favourite part was getting soaked in water in her clothes (she was a bit overheated so Dianne held her under the tap). Elizabeth's least favourite part was leaving. There were tears.


The kids are already asking when we can go camping again.

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July 11, 2018
Incredibles 2

Have I mentioned the school bank yet? There's a program in Ontario whereby students are invited to sign up for an account at the Desjardins credit union. They have extra education to promote financial literacy and kids with an account can make deposits at school every two weeks. If they make a certain number through the year they get extra interest in June. Anyway, Matthew won a gift certificate to the movies from the credit union and was desperate to use it. 


Incredibles 2 was the only movie that was even vaguely suitable and Elizabeth reckoned he would be okay (she'd already seen it at karate Olivia's birthday) so I agreed we could go to the movie theatre.


Grandma J agreed to play with Amelia and Daddy wrangled Michael.


We bought two large bags of popcorn and the staff obligingly gave me a couple of paper bags so I could split the popcorn into individual bags. Given that both Maria and Elizabeth had had stomach flu in the last couple of weeks I did NOT think that sharing would be wise.


The movie was very good, but Matthew did end up in my lap towards the end. I didn't find it as scary as I was expecting based on the reviews but Matthew clearly found it overly intense. At one point I wasn't sure he was going to make it through but he said he enjoyed the experience and wants to go back. His favourite part was getting to eat popcorn! We don't usually allow any food (or drink) in the basement even during movie times so this was a huge treat.


It was my first time at the Landsdowne theatre and I thought it was pretty nice.

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July 10, 2018
Six Months Michael

At six months, Michael weighs 6.87kg, his head measures 43cm and he is 64.6cm long. He's babbling up a storm and can communicate with a few signs (milk, diaper) and vocalizations (mmmmmmum). He thinks it's hilarious to blow raspberries. His siblings are some of his favourite people.


Michael has started taking fewer but longer naps. The other day he slept for three and a half hours in the morning! He mostly sleeps through the night too. He's much less barfy, though he does still spit up from time to time.


He's very grabby and is starting to be able to locomote towards objects of interest. He can rotate himself in a circle and has just started pushing himself backwards. He can sit up unassisted for a short time and sit propped such as in a grocery cart for quite a while. The trick with the grocery cart is not putting objects of interest too close or he ends up twisting himself around in an attempt to eat all the things. Diaper change time is an excellent time to roll over. It's definitely not safe to leave him unattended on a couch.


His favourite toy is now probably the Jolly Jumper. He's VERY enthusiastic. He also greatly enjoys the jolly jumper, Matthew's beanie boo dragon stuffies, a set of plastic keys and is still a big fan of the silicone muffin liners with feet. He also does take a soother, though he tends to gnaw on the wrong end.


He still mostly tries to nurse his solids but is making progress on learning to chew. He seems to like everything he has tried, though he makes some hilarious faces. Oranges are a particular favourite, as is watermelon and sweet potato.


A very smiley boy with an adorable giggle - his big blue eye garner much attention pretty much everywhere we go.

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