Parenthood
March 2, 2019
No birthday

Auntie Mary came down to visit for Elizabeth's "family" birthday party but unfortunately Elizabeth came down with stomach flu and so we had to cancel the party. She did open Auntie Mary's present, complete with spy ink message that Matthew helped write.

 

Elizabeth was very sad. She had a black belt stripe test the following day and was very worried. I asked the sensei whether she was expected at her mandatory class Saturday afternoon and was told that she could rest up on Saturday, but she should come in the following day unless she had a fever. I thought that seemed a little intense but luckily she was feeling quite a bit better so we didn't have to make any tough decisions.

 

In order to minimize contact with our sickie, Mary and I took the younger kids to the farm where we were amused to find they were feeding the ducks "can o crickets".

12 photos / videos
1 comments

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February 28, 2019
Double Digits

Just like that we have a ten year old!

 

I managed to put ALL her candles in her breakfast as per tradition. She was most impressed by the coloured flames, but suggested that maybe next year we could move to fewer candles since the heat was intense enough to start melting their neighbours!

 

Elizabeth was selected to be one of thirty kids in her school for a special winter outing. "Apparently I'm one of the more well-behaved kids in my class", she said modestly. A number of schools in the school board each sent around 30 students for a winter exchange. Elizabeth was excited to being going outdoors most of the day on her birthday.

 

They went skating, snowshoeing, sledding, played tug of war and drank hot chocolate. She reported that her skating skills were among the most advanced of the kids there, which surprised her because she doesn't play hockey.

 

She insisted on going to karate for a birthday belt and was SUPER excited to still be awake to cheer on the snow eating machines when they came to remove our massive snowbanks.

 

We think she's quite the impressive young lady. For someone who spends twelve hours or so a week at karate, she's remarkably well rounded. Karate is definitely her favourite but she's also fond of skating, swimming, ballet and music. This year she started the violin, which was a good reminder that her piano abilities are more a result of hard work and practice than natural ability. She's now at the point where she no longer cringes every time she plays a note and I gather her teacher feels she's progressing well. Naturally athletic, Elizabeth spends an inordinate amount of time stretching, dangling upside down or otherwise contorting her body in weird and wonderful ways.

 

Extremely organized and self motivated, Elizabeth's the timekeeper in our family, making sure that we have enough margin not to "rush". She hates rushing, although she will do it if the alternative is to skip activities. If we are late, she looks for ways to improve the next time - our breakfast routine complete with three sets of warning bells was entirely her idea to help us stay on track after one too many frantic mornings. (We still have the odd frantic morning, but it's rarely Elizabeth's doing)

 

She's very imaginative and creative and likes to spend her spare time doodling or writing. Her spelling is frequently atrocious unless she's concentrating (it's above average for her age if she's paying attention). She likes to plan out her stories in advance starting with point form, then writing increasingly detailed drafts which I always thought was a technique invented by English teachers to annoy their students rather than a natural way of writing. She rarely plays with toys, unless it's part of game with her siblings. One popular play right now is dressing as a ninja, or playing a variant of house. She and some of her friends in the neighbourhood are currently writing a movie script. The subject matter is a secret but I gather it includes younger siblings, involves making up many new names and inventing a dance.

 

Elizabeth's starting to read by herself for fun but still prefers to listen if that's an option. In math we are working through long division, which she's quite capable of managing when she's in the mood. When she isn't, she still is completely maddening, pretending that she can't remember, didn't hear you or doesn't understand. Playing dumb is a technique she has perfected in order to get people to feed her answers so she doesn't have to think, but sadly for her I used to do the same thing and we are onto her. When called out she (mostly) laughs.

 

She can sometimes be a little distracted "off in another universe" but is usually pretty helpful around the house especially when it comes to occupying the youngest.

 

We think she's a pretty brilliant and impressive young lady and are looking forward to seeing what kind of teenager she will be.

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February 27, 2019
Foolish Chicken

Elizabeth chose going to the Foolish Chicken for her birthday restaurant this year. I offered to go on her actual birthday but she insisted she HAD to go to karate in case there was a birthday belt.

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February 26, 2019
Winter sickie

Matthew had an outdoor field trip today that he was very much looking forward to but he spent the night throwing up so won a quiet day at home instead.

 

"The one day this year that I wanted to go to school I can't" he moaned. Instead he played games and did some painting.

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February 25, 2019
Orchids

My favourite flowers are orchids, so I am very pleased to report that not one but THREE of them are currently blooming.

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