Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A morning in the life of Clara and Leo...

This is Leo's first experience with paints. He did pretty well, only licked his fingers once!
When Clara saw Leo painting with his hands she dumped her brushes and had to try it too!
Morning nap. It is silly but Leo sleeps best during the day in the stroller in my bedroom. Don't ask, we just go with it!
The is great, you can crawl through it, roll balls through it, ride it and pretend it is a HUGE accordion! Leo was scared of it at first but now he crawls through there with a grin on his face every time.
Clara's happy lunch as we called it :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Clara is a songstress. Two recent compositions are:
"Call me naked princess" - This one was performed standing in her panties in on a chair looking at her reflection in a full length mirror while dancing.
"Marietta, Marietta...BRUCE" - This one was in anticipation of our visit today with Uncle Bruce and Mariette.

The visit this afternoon was great. Uncle Bruce is my Great Uncle and Clara and Leo's Great Great Uncle. Get it :) Anyway, bad humor aside, it was really nice to spend some time with Uncle Bruce and Mariette, we got to see their new condo and Clara got to chow down on salty snacks. Leo's favorite thing about the visit was the patio door and the view it provided, he stood and banged on the window many times over the course of the afternoon. Papa T chauffeured the whole trip and ended up feeding us weary travelers at his place. It was a gourmet meal with an orange theme and was absolutely delicious despite two very, very tired children.

Monday, August 29, 2005

My baby boy refuses to remain a baby! Can someone do something about this?? This morning while Clara and Marc were playing pat-a-cake Leo watched intently and kinda bobbed along with the beat of the rhyme and then...he started clapping along! What? Who taught him that? He was so thrilled with himself, he smiled and clapped and drooled (yup, teething again). We were totally impressed with the clapping, then our little guy upped the anti and started imitating the "pricking" action too!

Bedtime has been getting better and better, but tonight was probably the best we've experienced so far. Clara was bouncing around, obviously overtired and getting crazier by the second. Leo was ready for bed so I suggested Clara get Leo's books so I could read to him before nursing him down for the night. She was happy to oblige and asked if she could sit with us too. Of course, I welcomed her to snuggle up beside Leo on my lap. I read Wibbly Pig and Mr Brown Can Moo. They both sat quiet and still focused on the books, it was peaceful and so, so wonderful. Marc sat with us as well and it was all I could do to keep my focus on the books, otherwise I knew tears would start to swell.

Sitting there, with both my kids I felt like I'd won something. I've got exactly what I've always wanted, and even though it can be hard (oh so hard!) there is nothing better or more rewarding than sitting on the edge of a bed moo-ing, and cock-a-doodle-do-ing to my babies who are loving every second of it!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Sappy Entry ahead!
Today I had a moment with Clara. We made lunch together (egg salad sandwiches on whole wheat bread) and then sat at the table and chatted. I found myself listening to her and swelling with love and pride. She's such an individual; she's so smart, funny, loving, and empathetic. I just sat there in wonder and enjoyed the company of this beautiful soul that I helped to create!

After we had finished eating I gave Clara a cloth to wipe off her face. While wiping her face she went off on a tangent about how when she was a baby I washed her face and how when I was a baby, she washed my face. It was so weird, she said it so matter-of-factly. I felt tears spring to my eyes and for the first time ever I considered the possibility of reincarnation - how weird would that be?!?

And, in the category of things I want to remember about my kids at this age...
-Clara calls sneezes "bless yous"

-Her favorite joke is:
C- Knock knock
Me- Who's there?
C- Banana
Me- Banana who?
C- Banana blah blah
We laugh, she goes on...

C- Knock knock
Me- Who's there?
C- Orange
Me- Orange who?
C- Orange you glad I didn't say banana?
We laugh, she goes on...

C- Knock knock
Me- Who's there?
C- Popsicle
Me- Popsicle who?
C- Popsicle blah blah (while making a monkey face)
We laugh, it usually ends there unless she decides to do it again with every other piece of fruit!

-Leo makes brum brum noises while pushing around cars and buses. I love that his favorite (and our only) car is a pink one!

-Clara and Leo play together now, it is so cool to see them interact and laugh with each other. Some favorite games are; The on where Clara encourages Leo to chase her up and down the hallway. The one where they each have a rattle and shake them together, then they swap rattles and shake them some more. The oe where Leo cruises around the "petit table" trying to eat Clara's cereal while she tries to guard it and watch her cartoon at the same time (ok, I think only Leo considers this one a game). and finally, the one where Clara "rides" Leo while he giggles and squeals in delight!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Now Leo waves, smiles, and says "bah bah" with no provocation at any sign of a person arriving or leaving. So cute!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Despite struggling with a cold, Leo hit another milestone yesterday. He started waving! I've noticed lately that he's been practicing the "wave" finger movement though rarely with his hand up for people to see. Yesterday as we were leaving the park and saying "bye bye" to Chloe and Zachary his arm was up and he was waving a bit.

The definitive moment was last night at bedtime. I took Leo to see Marc and Clara for goodnight kisses. After our goodnights, I took Leo down the hall towards the bedroom and he just started waving. I was so excited I went back (to the bathroom where Marc and Clara were brushing teeth) and instructed Clara and Marc to say "night-night" again. Sure enough he started waving at them with a huge proud grin across his face! What a ham.

This morning he waved wildly at Marc when he left for the gym and I predict a repeat when he heads out to the office in a few minutes.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

When Clara woke up, quite agitated at 2am this morning Papa offered her water. "No water!" was her firm response. She continued to whine so Papa tried again,"what do you want Clara?" "I want, I want, I want... a hot dog." With that she closed her eyes and fell back to sleep.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Clara went to her first dentist appointment today and as her plastic ring says "Look Mom, No Cavities!" Of course with Clara's pronunciation it is "Look Mom, No Cabanies!"

I didn't really know what to expect of Clara in the dentist's chair, she'd been well prepared for what would happen but I just wasn't sure if she was going to go for it. When we arrived she was quite hesitant so in order to quell her nerves I offered to go first. I had my teeth cleaned while Clara danced around, ate snacks, and peered over the hygenist's shoulder. By the end of my cleaning she was asking when it would be her turn. The hygenist, who was very kind and gentle (with me as well) prepared her instruments for a cleaning but confided that she usually doesn't get to do much of a cleaning with 3 year olds. Well, this 3 year old not only sat still, listened and practiced brushing her teeth she also has a complete cleaning and flossing! Other than a few moments of furrowed brow Clara practically had a smile on during the whole ordeal! I swear, this kid is not scared of anything - oh, except flies and sometimes fluff.

So we headed back to Karen's to collect Leo (read Karen's blog to see how that went) with beautiful white smiles and two new toothbrushes.

Clara was able blow off a little artistic steam so to speak this afternoon, this is the result...

Monday, August 15, 2005

Summer vacation is over. We finished our family time with one final hurrah, a visit to the Granby Zoo. The day was not perfect but I think it worked to our advantage in the end, it was grey when we arrived and drizzly for most of the afternoon, but we ignored the wet and just enjoyed the refreshing temperature. The cool thing about Granby Zoo is that it offers a bit of everything; we started out at the wave pool, then spent some time at the amusement park and finished up the day checking out some favorite animals. In fact, it was the perfect culmination of our water and animal themed vacation! As always, Clara impressed both Marc and I with her fearlessness in the wave pool and determination on the bumper cars (she was way too young for them but she was tall enough so they let her on!)
After the Zoo we went to our vacation retreat in Bromont (Papa T and Cathy's house) and relaxed for the evening. The next day Clara and Marc fit in a swim and we spent some time outside enjoying the sunny weather before heading back home. Clara and I both lamented Papa's return to work on Monday but we are slowly getting back into the swing of things.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

We continued our children's tour of Montreal yesterday with a visit to La Ferme Agrignon. It is a "farm" in the city, a glorified petting zoo one may say. Whatever it is, it is just perfect for 3 year olds. Clara had a great time checking out the farm animals and following the animation team; she fed the ducks, sheep, goats, and watched a cow milking and a calf feeding. After the official animation ended we tagged along and "helped" put the bunnies back in their cages for the night, collected chicken eggs, checked out some chicks living under a heat lamp and watched the horses and donkeys be herded back to their pens. Leo liked the animals for the most part but he ended up napping for a good portion of the visit. He did however, wake up to swing at the park with Papa and Clara.
After the fun afternoon we went out to a farewell dinner for Trina, Mehdi and Anissa. For a few moments I did not think I was going to make it out of the house. Right before we were ready to leave Clara, in a game of "throw the sippy cup onto the bed" launched her cup (full of water I might add) and it landed - you guessed it - square between my eyes. The bridge of my nose screamed in pain and I guess I did too because within seconds of my cry both Clara and Leo were sobbing. I guess kids do NOT like to see their Mama react in pain like that; I had obviously scared them both. Once the pain started to fade (luckily I only have a slight bruise to show for it) I talked to Clara and explained why she really shouldn't throw things even if she hadn't meant to throw it at me. Hopefully this natural consequence will be remembered and the throwing games will cease!

Monday, August 08, 2005

I had a little scare this morning when I came into the living room and Clara brought to my attention a LARGE amount of blood all over the floor, the coffee table and the baseboard heater! I grabbed Leo and yelled to Marc, "was Leo crying recently?" The answer was "no, he's been playing". I looked all over my guy and saw lots of smears of dried blood but no obvious gaping wounds. After doing a quick once over I started looking more closely and discovered two fairly deep cuts on the pad of his finger. He could've cared less that he was leaving a trail of blood everywhere but I wanted to know how he managed to do it. Marc quickly deduced what happened. We figure he put his hand inside the baseboard and the sharp elements probably were the cause for the cuts. Anyway it finally stopped bleeding and he went on his merry little way!

After bloody-boy's morning nap we headed over to the beach at Parc Jean Drapeau. Clara got to try out her new water wings which were amazing. She was really swimming, and she started floating on her back as well! I think her favorite water game was when she said "bye bye" repeatedly and then dunked her head under water. Leo also enjoyed the water and, after lunch he took a nice long nap enjoying the "fresh" air.
Clara says she can teach me to drive, here is what I have to do:
-Reach the peddles
-Sing the Madagascar Song; I like to move it, move it...
-Hold the steering wheel
and that's it!

She tells me this every time we get into the car, I wish it were that easy, especially after my first lesson on a stick shift.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Marc and I took Clara and Leo to the Museum of Contemporary Art this afternoon. It was a great place to hang out - air conditioned, big open spaces for running around in, video art installations to sit and watch, and lots of bright colours and fun sounds. Personally, I can take or leave most of the art we saw but there were a few gems that stood out to me. Clara never did say "I could do that" but she did ask several times if she was going to be doing a painting after. While checking out some Riopelle paintings Marc and Clara discussed the emotions the colours invoked. I guess the little art critique got into it and checked out each canvas and reported "this is a happy picture" or "this is a mad picture". She never said any of them were sad which surprised both Marc and I, too bad we can't ask Riopelle what he was thinking.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Spent a great afternoon with Grandpapa and Grandmaman Rollande. During our conversations I realised that there are so many cute things Clara says and does that never even make it to the blog. So, Grandpapa Marcel has inspired me to think hard and try to list a few Clara-isms (and eventually Leo-isms) so that time will not wipe my memory clean of the hilarity of childhood.

Installment #1
-Every day sometime around mid-afternoon Clara tells me she has a secret to share. I bend down, she puts her ear to mine and she whispers into the air "I've got an idea, lets eat ice cream after dinner". Then she pulls away and looks expectantly for my reply.

-The other day Marc and I were trying to figure out if Clara hears the difference between certain words that she is having trouble pronouncing. One of the biggies she can't say is the word "spoon". When she says "spoon" it comes out as "soom". We tried all sorts of things to get her to say the "sp" sound but nothing worked. Finally she looked at us with complete seriousness and said, I'm speaking in french, "soom" is french. Marc and I broke down in fits of giggles while she continued to look at us shaking her head.

-When Leo approches Clara while she's playing with her toys she yells out "oh no, its GodziLeo!"

Finally, a Leo funny from this evening. I'm only reporting this fact so that Leo can be fully embarassed when he's older. Today is the day that Leo discovered what makes him a boy. Yes, Leo discovered his penis! He peered over his belly at it and gave it a few good yanks and kept looking up at me. I swear his eyes were saying "have you seen this thing, its pretty cool, check it out... it stretches too!" OK, grown Leo, are you dying of embarassment yet??? Love ya xox
The word of the day... PRIVACY. Clara is offering us privacy morning, noon, and night. It would be even more exciting if she really meant it. So far, privacy in the bathroom consists of Clara popping her head in and out of the room telling you that you are getting your privacy!

Oh, and she just hopped on one foot for the first time while I was typing. What a girl! She's really into dancing and jumping right now, she jumps over all the random peices of junk lying around the house. Wait a minute, maybe it is not random junk, maybe it is a carefully placed obsticle course I've set out for my precious three year old. Yeah, thats it.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Home sweet home!

After 8 days away from home Clara, Leo and I are back in our partially baby-proofed house. We spent a week in Toronto at Auntie Dorothy's house and then topped off the trip with a weekend at Danford Lake.

Auntie Patricia was my partner in crime in Toronto while Marc stayed home and worked. We had a great trip. It started off with a smooth drive to Toronto and then lots of fun at the Ontario Science Center, the zoo and several local parks. Oh, and we did fit in a bit of shopping as well!
I mentioned baby proofing before, this week has been an exercise in why baby proofing keeps you sane when you are a parent. Auntie Dorothy's house is a lovely, well decorated adult home. As you can imagine, Leo was a holy terror when it came to touching, grabbing, eating non-edible materials, knocking over stacks of magazines and making a bee-line for any of the THREE sets of stairs in Dorothy's house! The safest place we found for him (other than the high chair) was the kitchen.
Spending time with Auntie Dorothy was great. She and Patricia were so helpful and, despite the game of musical beds Clara had them playing, I think they enjoyed spending time with us too.

Clara loved the Toronto Zoo and, even though we only visited about a third of the zoo we did manage to see all the animals she asked for (most of them were in the movie Madagascar). I think the giraffes were the highlight for Miss Clara B, Leo liked the other visitors the best, and I liked watching the female lion groom the male. I never did ask Patricia what she liked best, Maybe she'll share it with us in a comment! Ok, Auntie Pusha?
Here are Clara and Patricia at the Ontario Science Center, I just love that place. There is so much cool stuff to do and I'm not even the age that the section is geared towards!
Marc met us in Ottawa on Saturday morning and we all went to Tom and Margaret's cottage on Danford Lake. Papa T, Cathy, Rachel, Patricia, and Ashley were also visiting. We had a great day swimming and boating on the lake.

What did I learn on my trip? That a 9 month old poops A LOT when they eat a lot of solid food, that a 3 year old can say "what did you say" without even thinking before speaking, that Leo is a really calm kid until his teeth start ripping through his gums, and that Clara has a sphinchter of steel! Yes, she had ZERO accidents all week, even overnight and during our many car trips, she always could "hold it" until a bathroom became available. Her only problem thus far... self flushing toilets, they freak her out in a serious way!