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September 14, 2018

Preschool started late this year because of renovations being done at the community centre.


But today was finally Amelia's first day of preschool. She was very keen to go back "to see her friends". Our next door neighbour Horatio is coming this year too, as well as Matthew's preschool buddy Adam's little sister Ally from around the corner. Amelia says she's going to help them settle in, although as luck would have it they were not in the same staggered entry day as Amelia.


We arranged a couple of playdates with Horatio in the days leading up to the start - one at our house and one at his house with some of the other preschool kids. Much fun was had!


Anyway, I was asked if I wouldn't mind doing the first day again and when they reminded me that meant I only had to bring snack for half the kids I was definitely on board. Amelia decided she wanted a "rainbow snack" of course. It was nice to get to know the two new teachers this year. Amelia was happy to be the "duty girl" but didn't particularly hover around me as she methodically went around the room checking out all the toys. She showed me which jobs she was going to do when she's grown up: a fire fighter and an artist. I was amused to observe her scissors "technique" which is neither effective nor safe. Something to work on!


September 11, 2018

When Elizabeth was little we did all kinds of things to teach her French prior to starting at Francojeunesse.


We spoke French at home for at least one meal every day. I played songs and stories in the car in French. She went to French class at a local community centre. We read lots of stories in French. We went to this amazing playgroup in French at Marius Barbeau. She did jeu d'école.


We stopped speaking French at home when Elizabeth started JK and seemed too mentally exhausted. We got a new car that was hard to play music on and then thieves stole our hard drive, so I stopped doing that. The community centre stopped offering French. The playgroup closed. The CEPEO stopped funding jeu d'école.


I never really found a good equivalent playgroup for Matthew and felt slightly guilty about how much less prepared he was for starting school. Recently however, Elizabeth started saying she wants to speak more French at home and we are making new attempts to expose the younger two to more French.


Part of that means it's time to forget about looking for a Marius Barbeau substitute and just find a playgroup with some French. So today we went to the French immersion group near Trainyards. I've been here before. It's not wonderful, just okay but we spoke French for two hours and Amelia had a ball.


She did try to shoo me out the door on the grounds that she is now big and no longer needs her mother to come to school with her, so I guess she's more than ready to go back to preschool.


September 10, 2018

Michael celebrated turning eight months old by casually holding on to Daddy while playing with a toy standing up... and then letting go! So he's officially stood unassisted for a few seconds!!


Elizabeth keeps saying "I'm not ready for him to grow up" and "I still remember the day you were born". We're very amused, although we sympathize with the sentiment!


If seven months was locomotion, eight months is vertical. Now that he can pull to standing Michael spends a lot of time doing exactly that. Amelia finds his newfound mobility and height "'nnoying, Mommy". Daddy says Michael is showing signs of being as wild as Matthew. Michael certainly likes to roam about and get into all the things.


Michael is communicating more and more, especially with Elizabeth. He's also made a surprising amount of progress on the using the toilet front, to Amelia's great chagrin.


September 8, 2018

Elizabeth is now the proud wearer of a brown black belt. Or, as she likes to say "four stripes away from my junior black belt!!!!"


She sang "brown like tree, black like shadow" all the way to grading.


We told her this might be her last chance to do regular grading (it's her last belt before the special black belt grading) so that she should think carefully about what she wanted to say when she got asked about her favourite part of karate. Her favourite part is tournament team, but she's always been too shy to say so. Not this time!


Afterwards we went out for lunch at the "bear" restaurant (aka The Works) because Amelia has been demanding to eat there every time we drive past (several times a week) and it seemed like a good time to celebrate a little.


September 6, 2018

Elizabeth's parents were invited to visit her classroom and instructed in no uncertain terms to bring Elizabeth along as she would be responsible for doing the presentation. We got special permission to also bring Michael and left the other two to hang out with Lorianne.


The kids all had to show their parents around (using clipboard to make sure they didn't miss anything vital) and then there was an opportunity to talk to the teacher afterwards. It was a pretty neat way of doing it. Mme Annie seems to stress independence this year. Each kid has their own area of responsibility, which apparently change around every week (?). Elizabeth is currently doing recycling and takes great pride in her new expertise.


Elizabeth is also quite happy that they are allowed to eat at their desks, whenever they want. "Obviously not during special classes like gym, Mom"


Their class is doing a thing where you get to put pasta in the jar if you are well behaved. When they fill the jar, they give it to the office who gives them a ping pong ball. When they get enough ping pong balls then they get some kind of prize. Elizabeth seemed excited anyway.


At the moment they are learning to write autobiographies. For those of you who can't read french, in addition to the obvious details about birthday and family members, Elizabeth's autobiography says that she is "nice", "good at reading", "likes sports and cakes" and "wins lots of medals".


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