Parenthood
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July 30, 2018

Lorianne and Michael came for lunch while the other kids were at camp to celebrate Amelia's baptism anniversary with us. The other kids were not terribly amused to be left out even though we saved them some cake. Getting godparents and entire family in the same room proved beyond my scheduling capabilities so we decided to go with what we had. Amelia was quite pleased to have (mostly) undivided attention.

   

July 29, 2018

Auntie Joanne came to visit us again. The kids were super happy to have her around. Matthew's planning to move in with her (on his boat in Wellesley) when he's big, apparently. She can read him lots of stories without needing to stop for bedtime.

   

July 28, 2018

Well, it was Matthew's first spartan race and it started out absolutely POURING. Elizabeth was apparently very nervous (we signed her up for the 3km one for the first time) and spent the entire car ride there telling me that she hates running and races and WHY AM I MAKING HER DO THIS WHEN SHE DOESN'T LIKE RUNNING?!?

 

Matthew thought she was being very silly (not wrong), but luckily it had stopped raining by the time we got there so she agreed to come in at least and get her t-shirt. Then we found Aidan and Caitlyn and randomly bumped into a couple of her friends from school and some more from karate and she cheered up.

 

Matthew and Caitlyn were in the same heat, so she agreed to take him under her wing. Then there was a bit of a kerfuffle over dividing the heat and there were only about 10 kids in the second wave or something, so they were all like "just go!" but Caitlyn didn't want to and it took me a bit to convince her she should start running. By that point Matthew had completely disappeared. Absolute chaos.  I was a little stressed about finding him there were SO MANY people and spent more time than I would have liked running back and forth parts of the course looking for him. Eventually I located him though (and Caitlyn caught him up). There wasn't any mud to speak of. Matthew finished in 20 minutes and 58 seconds.

 

Elizabeth had to wait around until the afternoon for her heat and by that time it was crazy hot. We sprayed her with water as she came around the course, which she loved. She finished every single obstacle even though they told her it was optional and adored every minute. We were crazy impressed. She finished in 36 minutes and 38 seconds and took back all the stuff she said about not liking running. Of course I must sign her up for next year, but maybe she could do the harder Elite one because they got better freebies and it's not like she had to skip any of the obstacles. I'll have to remind her of this next year...

 

After the race we went swimming with Aidan and Caitlyn and Evelyn. We borrowed swimsuits because it would have been too far to go home and back again.

   

July 27, 2018

My kids are constantly asking when the canal is going to freeze again because "we can only go on it when it's a skating rink". I've been telling them for years that it's pretty neat to use for boating too but although we even have a canoe in our garage it's taken us a while to get around to actually putting it into the canal.

 

There's an easy access point by Patterson now though, so we loaded up the canoe, our scooters and many small children and off we went!

 

The kids enjoyed paddling around very much, especially the part where we squeezed by the island. We mostly stayed in the inlet because it was quite windy and the canal is a wind tunnel but Brendan took some of the kids out into the main channel for a brief exploration. After that they stopped arguing that it wasn't all that windy.

   

July 24, 2018

Yukiko thought we should go visit Parliament Hill as part of cousin camp. The timing didn't work out during camp, but I thought it sounded like fun so Yukiko and I made a date and went!

 

I was super glad we did, because we discovered that parliament is being CLOSED for ten to fifteen YEARS in the new year for renovations.

 

Here's some of the things we learned during the tour:

1) It only took eight years to build in the first place (Elizabeth, whispering "Why is it going to take longer to fix than it did to build?" Me: "Shhhh")

2) The House of Commons is moving to West Block. The Senate is moving to the Conference Centre. This is the first time that the House of Commons and the Senate will be in two physically separate buildings.

3) Four provinces (Ontario, New Brunswick, Quebec and Nova Scotia) formed the first parliament in 1867. We're in the 42nd right now. Nunavut is the last territory to have been made.

4) The walls have fossils in them. They are made of Tindale limestone from Manitoba

5) The House of Commons is to the left, the Senate to the right. The Hall is impartial and so is the library.

6) No one knows why the House of Commons is green, but the speakers chair is a replica of the British one. There's a tradition to drag the speaker to the chair because no one wanted to be speaker - nine were executed (not in Canada); it was a dangerous job.

7) Speaker of the house sits in the middle chair. The right chair is a throne for the Queen, the other one for her spouse.

8) The portrait of Queen Victoria outside the Senate is missing half her crown. It's been saved from fire four times, the last time it was cut out of the frame.

9) 1860 vs 1916 Fire from library destroyed the whole building. Doors are iron.

10) The most expensive book is "Birds of America". There are 11 copies in the whole world, worth $14 million dollars a copy. It's the size of a person and has all kinds of hand painted birds.

11) House of Commons seats are by population. We keep having to add new seats. Last time they added 30 new seats which was challenging because they couldn't move walls. Reno will address this problem. Senate seats are by region, not population, and senators are appointed, not elected.

12) There used to be a smoking room but now it's the salon de francophonie (they don't need a smoking room anymore)

13) The Peace Tower is the biggest building commemorated to Peace and has a carillon of 53 bells.

   

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