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January 4, 2019

We went sledding at the "little" hill near us and I was extremely happy to discover that Amelia is big enough to go up and down all by herself. This means I can potentially bring Michael next time...

 

Amelia was a little leery of sledding at first - last time she went down the big hill at Bruce Pit she was still recovering from surgery and her tummy started hurting after a couple of runs. So she started out by rolling on the snow with no sled. Then I helped steer her down from halfway up. Then she decided it wasn't so scary after all and was fine after that.

 

Elizabeth spent much of her time inventing new tricks while I fervently prayed that she didn't injure herself.

 

Unfortunately, Matthew managed to steer into a rock and utterly destroy his sled. He was pretty sad, although his sisters were very good about it and let him have rides on their sleds. Amelia even gave up her last ride for Matthew.

 

We were just glad that Matthew didn't hurt himself.

   

The kids were super excited to hear we had plans to hang out with Michael and Kaitlyn. They played with the light table and we had some fun dancing to Just Dance Favourite hit of the morning? "Beep Beep I'm a sheep"

   

January 2, 2019

We went to the aviation museum as part of today's Christmas adventures to participate in a couple of special programs.

 

Elizabeth insisted Michael needed to get dressed up and do all the things, so I let her since he seemed to be willing to play along. Amelia was sad that I didn't let them put on the space helmets (I'm still traumatized from that time when I was a kid and my sister got lice and I had to have the stinky shampoo). She was so sad, in fact that she nearly didn't participate. Luckily the guide's interpretation of getting into the rocket ship, blasting off, going into stasis and landing on the distance planet was distracting enough that she eventually forgot about the lack of helmet and got into the spirit of things. We got to see Kevin again and were given some pretty fun booklets (stickers!!)

 

The kids had to choose a career (biologist vs geologist) by picking up rocks or aliens and then they got to go into the bubble. When we came out there was a surprise sandstorm but luckily we could all hide in the little tents. Michael was not excited about that part.

 

Then we had about half an hour to wander around the museum before the candy drop tour (aka collect many many stuffies, then learn about Nunavut before a model plane drops candy on your head). Before the tour the kids decided to go play on the little planes and randomly met up with Kaitlyn and Michael (and Michael's brother Stephen). So we dragged then on the tour as well until they had to leave for a sightseeing flight.

 

Back home, Elizabeth completed one of her burning goals for the holidays "make a musical instrument out of recycling". We didn't quite understand why it was so thrilling but she was very happy.

 

We finished off the day with a formal New Year's resolution - to institute a weekly "Family night". We decided to try our new kid's version of ticket to ride. I was quite impressed as the older two were able to play completely independently.

   

January 1, 2019

Elizabeth insisted that we must do Sensei Nick’s New Year’s Day fitness challenge “to start the New Year our right!” which is primarily why we came home yesterday.

 

I signed up, Matthew signed up, Janice signed up and Elizabeth signed up. Predictably Elizabeth didn’t want to go this morning at 7:30am but I was having none of that nonsense! I even let Amelia come at the last minute since Michael had had a poor sleep due to a stuffy nose and generally feeling unwell.

 

I kind of wished I had let everyone sleep in when we arrived and I discovered it was a TWO HOUR fitness class, rather than the 45 min class I had fondly imagined. Anyway, it went surprisingly well given that I brought a rambunctious three year old to work out at 8am after a very late night the night before. Did I mention it was for two hours and that we skated the evening before?

 

Actually I did discover it’s surprisingly fun to punch the punching bags and the activities changed often enough that the time went very quickly. Elizabeth thought it was super fun.

 

I did bribe Amelia with Tim Horton’s and let her play on my phone for the last ten minutes but she did pretty well for her age. Her kicks are hilarious (but probably better than mine...)

 

After we had a well deserved brunch, turned Elizabeth into a unicorn and then I kicked the older three outside to play with the neighbour kids. When they got cold they disappeared to the neighbour’s house to play while Brendan and I reassembled playmobile so we could vaccum the living room. The glamour! 

 

It’s kind of a New Year’s Day tradition to go visit a museum. This year I took the four kids to the museum of Nature - getting the hang of this solo with four thing. Michael mostly hung out in the sling. It was the happiest he was all day - he just looked and looked at everything. We saw the artic exhibit (aka let’s put our hands on glowing ice), the new sloth exhibit (which had sloths, cheetahs and mammoths featured, so everyone was super happy). Amelia and Elizabeth started watching the “live animal show” but the chameleon’s tongue was too scary for Amelia so we went and learned about caloric intake requirements of various animals instead.

 

Elizabeth picked the sloth exhibit; Matthew decided to go to the Earth exhibit (aka gymnastics in the cave, sparkly jewels and blowing up volcanoes). This time round we spent quite a lot of time figuring out what kind of rocks are made if we apply various amounts of erosion and pressure. Our last stop was the birds. Amelia just wanted to play with the stuffies but the older two played the guessing game. I was quite amused on the way in when Amelia casually identified various birds (we’ve been working on them). “Owl, owl, jay, loon, owl, falcon, tweety bird” 

 

When we got home it was playtime. Elizabeth and Matthew pulled out some Christmas crafts. Amelia listened to music on Aunty Janice’s phone (she cracked and handed it over after many renditions of the first three words of Let It Go). Michael pretended to vaccum and I made supper using my newest toy (an “Instant Pot”). 

 

All in all a good first day, even if we did burn Elizabeth’s beads while cooking them.

   

December 31, 2018

We drove home with only one stop (!) for Michael’s first A&W burger pieces (stolen from Amelia). Matthew and Elizabeth had bacon and egger sandwiches, which Elizabeth liked and Matthew declared “too salty” and “too greasy” and unfit for consumption.

 

We arrived home in time to grab skates and head for the canal. Brendan kept baby at home while I bought some groceries for dinner and helped the other three lace up and skate almost the length of what was open. We went from Patterson to Pretoria to Pig Island and back to Patterson, stopping for a beavertail on the way home.

 

Amelia wanted to skate much further than anyone else wanted her to. She did skate from Pig Island almost all the way to Fifth before her siblings managed to talk her into getting back into the sled via a combination of pointedly skating many tight and unappreciated circles around her and catching her interest with a play where she was running a team of dogs...

 

The other two basically now skate as fast as (or faster) than I’m comfortable going myself, though Matthew did complain a couple of times that I should slow down since he’s “like a cheetah - mostly fast but low endurance”. Spoiler: he didn’t seem to need much rest. My legs may be sore tomorrow!

 

We had sushi for supper as per Elizabeth’s meal plan, Christmas chocolates for dessert and sparklers outside in the snow. Michael thought the sparklers were interesting. Then we did a countdown and went to bed - about quarter to nine I think so the countdown didn’t coincide with any particular time zone other than that of the land of tired parents wanting to get tired children into bed stat!

   

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