February 22, 2020

Rachel from the cottage is competing in Ottawa for figure skating again this year so we invited her and her mom to come stay with us overnight and Elizabeth skipped tournament team so as to have more time to play with Rachel (!)


They like to spend their time doing bendy things which is always amusing to watch. Rachel likes to see Elizabeth do katas but Elizabeth was quite reluctant to show off. Eventually she was cajoled into showing some of it.


The next day we did some painting and then headed to the museum of Nature where we checked out the new microbe exhibit and then showed off all our favourite parts of every single other exhibit.


Apparently we didn't wear Rachel out too much as she went on to win a gold medal and score a personal best! Woo hoo! Sadly by the time she was done competing the canal had melted too much to be fun to skate on. We'll try again next year...

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February 21, 2020
Ski Club 3

Downhill ski day three at Vorlage and I filled the van again but traded Olive for Erika. Turns out that Olive and Elizabeth are pretty much at the same ski level so they spent most of the afternoon skiing together on the same three (easy) hills. "Let's just ski the same hill over and over again until we master it". Which I guess isn't the worst idea in the world!


I made a plea to speak more French this time which the kids seemed to take to heart.


The others mostly skied together, though in the end they split into a couple of groups. It was pretty warm by the afternoon and gorgeous which meant that it was challenging to pry the kids off the hill (!)


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February 19, 2020

I mentioned before that Matthew was taking shinny this year and as it turned out the second last class was actually the last class as unseasonably warm weather melted the rink and it closed for the season.


Matthew really enjoyed playing and I think he's interested in doing it again. He did confide that he's not sure if he enjoys the "battling for the puck" part, finding it a bit intimidating. This would be why he very frequently would skate away from the action (!) He did like getting the puck when no one was nearby and then firing it back towards the action. I suspect some more exposure would help.


In any case this program was perfect for us - no extra equipment, no contact, once a week, no additional or unexpected commitments and a focus on having fun. Parents were not required to take a good sportsmanship class prior to signing their kids up. Yes that's a thing around here for regular hockey apparently.


At the end of the class Matthew was thrilled to get a mini stick and puck, as well as two free tickets to the Ottawa 67s game. Unfortunately he couldn't go as it was at the same time as Nico's birthday party. I've promised him we'll go another time (!)

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February 18, 2020

Amelia and Matthew both had to write compositions for music for young children. Amelia isn't able to write music notes yet so she was allowed to stick her music friends in the right places on the staff. Matthew worked very hard on his, but the end result "hands together" was too hard for him to play.


Amelia apparently took honorable mention in her category!

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February 17, 2020
Family Day

We celebrated Elizabeth's birthday with breakfast (well, okay - brunch). We had Lorianne, her brother Caleb and his girlfriend Anna, Chris and Yukiko and Mary, Dave and kids, Grandma J, Rachel and Creighton, our family and Janice. We confused everyone by trying out one big table in lieu of a "kids" table because Elizabeth thought it would be nicer not to have a kids table.


Caleb and Anna became best friends with the kids especially Theo. (They were really good sports.) I accidentally only put seven candles on the birthday cake. In my defense I have had practice with seven candles on cakes lately... Anyway, Elizabeth didn't notice but I did so we relit four and I made her blow them out again. She alternated between clapping and blowing. I'll have to make sure I get the right number on her real birthday!


After brunch (and presents) we took the snobus to go and see ice sculptures before it was too late. Some of them were badly melted as feared as we've had a number of warm spells but there were still many in good shape. Not that many from the competition though; perhaps they've dismantled those that melted and replaced. They've moved to a format where they make new ones every weekend in addition to the competition to try and avoid disappointment. At the snobus stop we checked to see when it was running until. 4pm - well we need to be back before then anyway because the middles have music, so no problem, right? Spoiler: it was a problem.


The ice sculpture plan seemed like a good idea but it wasn't at all clear to us where the sculptures were this year. There appeared to be quite a lot of people at Confederation Park so we got off at that stop, only to discover that whatever winterlude type activities had been scheduled there were superceded by a Wet’suwet’en protest. Then I remembered that sculptures had been moved out of Confederation park last year into the Byward market. So we started walking that direction and luckily for us it turned out that this year they were on Sparks Street. Honestly, I did look at the website and I didn't find it very clear about where to go.


Anyway, we wandered up Sparks Street and we enjoyed the sculptures and the strange spinning things but about a block into it Michael decided he was done. As in I'm just going to scream inconsolably done. Partly he was tired (no nap), partly he had a foul diaper and apparently rookie parents who forgot to bring any kind of diaper, and partly (we discovered later) he was cold. In any case it was about 3pm and time to head back. So we headed back to the snobus stop. It was not exactly easy to locate but we did find a sign and duly stood in front of it. After about five minutes, this guy shows up and starts physically dismantling the bus stop sign. Weird, right? "Excuse me" I ask "Doesn't the bus service run until 4pm?" "Oh yes" says the man. "So there's still a bus expected to come to this stop?" "Oh yes" he says. Then he packs up the bus stop and leaves. Spoiler: the bus stopped running at 3pm according to the website. The 4pm physically printed on the bus sign at Dow's lake was the time the bus got to the other end. (Also we must have JUST missed the last bus or else it was early, because we never saw it). Anyway, after we waited another fifteen minutes with an increasingly hysterical baby we finally thought to check the website and figured it out. Luckily we did have some cash with us, although I did NOT have my presto card. Unluckily downtown Ottawa is a wasteland when it comes to OC Transpo these days. We were passed by about 50 out of service busses. We walked by 5 out of service bus shelters (some of which apparently are part of the LRT detour network but it wasn't clear if said detour was currently running). We walked from Elgin up to Bank and then down Bank before a bus came. Then we overpaid for a family pass (no exact change). We made it home around the time that Amelia's piano lesson started in Alta Vista. Nevertheless I grabbed piano books and kids and stuffed them into the car thinking well at least she'd get 5 minutes, leaving screaming baby behind with Daddy and Elizabeth.


And then I suddenly came to my senses. "Forget music!" I told the kids. "I don't want to drive halfway across the city to barge into class late. We're going to have a movie night instead!"

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