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October 30, 2018

It was Halloween at "French class" which meant lots of costume fun. Also making pumpkin spice playdough, with flour everywhere which was a bit nerve-wracking for me.


Michael had a really great time playing peek-a-boo in the little popup tent.


Amelia played with her doll for a long time. She carefully considered all of her options before selecting this one "because it looks like me Mommy". I found it fascinating that of all the various dolly attributes what mattered most was not skin or hair colour but the brown eyes!


October 28, 2018

Sunday started with shrieks of joy at discovering the first snow of the season outside. Matthew and Amelia got ready in record time so they could play.

Elizabeth had a sleepover birthday at Olivia's the night before, so we went to pick her up (in a blizzard). Then we picked up Elizabeth's friend Juno and took her to church with us. After church we quick ate lunch and dropped off Michael at Uncle Chris and Auntie Yukiko's house and headed to the NAC. We got to try out many percussion instruments before enjoying their special Halloween show for kids. I completely forgot that we were allowed to wear costumes, which would have simplified our logistics. Oh well!


The Halloween show was super fun because most of the orchestra was dressed up. The conductor came out on stage in a coffin (he was Count Dracula). Elizabeth's favourite costume was the double bassist with an octopus on his head. I quite liked the scuba diver violinist, but my favourite was probably the clarinet with a recorder through his head. Amelia liked the lady with the bright shoes. Matthew thought the pirate was pretty good. We weren't sure what the lady with all the balloons was (a cloud? grapes?), but I was amazed that she could still play! As the various instruments were played, the NAC broadcast a closeup of the musicians onto the video screen. It was very entertaining - so much so that the kids missed some of the dance numbers altogether because they were too busy watching the orchestra. One thing Matthew did not like was the green smoke machine which smelled awful. He felt they could have achieved a similar dramatic effect in other ways. He had a point!


After the performance we went home and quick changed into our costumes. We were going to pick up Michael, but he had fallen asleep so Uncle Chris and Auntie Yukiko decided to keep him until supper. I took the kids to GNAG for the annual Halloween party there. We started out with a Halloween version of a Christmas Carol, which could have used a better script writer in my opinion. The kids enjoyed it though, mostly because there was candy thrown into the audience at the end.


Afterwards we went around to all the games which was about as chaotic as usual but less frustrating because they were giving out stamps for effort instead of skill. All the staff were greeting Amelia and Matthew by name which Matthew adored and Elizabeth found quite annoying (she never really did programs there so they don't know her).


Matthew's favourite game was shooting nerf bullets at obstacles over a spider web. Elizabeth enjoyed the "use tweezers to feed the elephant pompoms" and Amelia liked the balloon room. GNAG usually has two spooky mazes, but the less spooky maze became a kiddie activity room this year. Elizabeth felt herself a bit too big for it at first but eventually had fun doing the activities. There was discussion about whether she wanted to do the seriously scary maze but she did not want to do it by herself and it was not appropriate for the younger two. I offered to do it with her after the other two got picked up by Daddy but she decided she wasn't brave enough. I was quite relieved (shh...)!


After we were done we headed to Sunnyside to find Michael and have supper! The supper was wonderful - super tasty and really nice to have this branch of the family back in Canada. Amelia and Matthew spent much of the time pretending they had been raised by wolves and we are vowing never to take them anywhere to eat again. Michael did really well - he was mommy-less from about 1:30 to just after 6pm - the longest stretch I've ever left him! He's growing up!!


October 27, 2018

We carved pumpkins. Amelia picked the pink one, Elizabeth picked the yellow "peanut" pumpkin and Matthew picked the orange one.



Elizabeth's is an elephant, Amelia's is a frowny face and Matthew's is a monster. Michael seemed to find the whole process very interesting. He does not object to the texture as much as Elizabeth and Matthew. But all the kids complained much less about the sliminess of pumpkin interiors so carving the pumpkins was much more fun for us parents this year.


October 24, 2018

Matthew has been taking a so-called "ninja gymnastics" class this term which he is loving. There's less somersaulting and cartwheels than expected but since they spend most of the class running and bouncing on things Matthew is satisfied and so are we.


Today was an open house where we got to come down and sit in the gym during the class so we could more easily observe what they are up to.


October 22, 2018

It was time to vote again. Elizabeth and Matthew were most indignant that we went without them this year, but it was awkward enough doing the baby exchange at the polling station thing.


Brendan and I had a tough time making up our minds this time round - there were five solid candidates, four of whom had extensive community experience. Ultimately Shawn Menard won, which Brendan had mixed feelings about since there are questions about whether he will be a good representative for us or not. Specifically, some family members were alarmed by Shawn's idea of extra taxation on "mansions". I was quite impressed by his communication skills as a candidate, but whether that translates into having a useful staff and getting useful things done is up in the air. Time will tell.


I spent a good chunk of the day exhorting those around me to go vote (and educating them on their options). Slightly amusing and awkward moment at karate when I was explaining to someone about how our provincial MPP (Joel Harden) had endorsed Shawn and our federal MP (Catherine McKenna) had endorsed Christine McAllister and it turned out that Joel Harden's kid is in Matthew's class and therefore Joel was standing right behind me. Small world!


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