Wednesday, September 28, 2005

OK, it is 8:35am and I have already been up for hours (it seems). What is with the new 6:30am wake up time? Where did the days of 8am wake ups disappear too? Oh well, at least we can get places on time now, there's got to be a bright side to every bleary eyed morning right?

Clara just set a handful of toys on the floor for Leo to play with and informed us both that she would be playing with her hands so she didn't need them. Right now one hand is Dora and the other is baby jaguar, characters from Chloe and Zach's Dora The Explorer story book. What an imagination :)
I just sent this in an email to Ann Marie, seems like it should be a public fact not just kept between the two of us :)
"Can I just tell you... Leo is so SMART!!! I can recite a story from one of his books and he'll crawl off the bed to the pile of books in front of the bookcase (where they tend to reside) and pull out the one I am reciting!!! It is not luck, we tested him this evening, he knows Goodnight Moon, Mr Brown Can Moo, and Wibbly Pig as well as I do!"

Monday, September 26, 2005

Leo seems to have his first crush. I caught him gazing deeply into someone's eyes during our impromptu brunch on Sunday. Yes, little loverboy was snuggled right up on Natasha's lap, looking deep in her eyes and then he PURRED! I kid you not, he was courting her. Problem is, the crush may be mutual... I think poor Natasha may have fallen for his charms.

This past weekend was a whirlwind of fun. On Saturday we all attended Kate and Rory's 3rd birthday party. Check out the cute hairbands the girls recieved!
That evening Marc and I were able to sneak away for a dinner alone while Papa T babysat Clara and Leo. Then we came home just long enough for Clara to ask "why are you here" in a very unimpressed tone and whisked Leo off to Trina and Mehdi's farewell party. Leo was supposed to sleep most of the time but his cough was really bothering him so he ended resting on my lap instead. The couch was comfy and the conversation entertaining so I really wasn't too disappointed.

Today has been grey and wet so we did nothing but get groceries. That is what an outsider might think anyway. But in reality I read books out loud for a good portion of the morning. Clara is really, really into Dennis Lee poetry right now. She has one book of her own and we just borrowed Jelly Belly at the library last week. Now I'm deep in sing-song rhyming and it is a lot of fun! The better the beat of the poem the more we both seem to like it.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Clara said "I love you Mama"
I said "I love you too sweetie"
She said "I wanna keep you forever"
I said "Me too"
Leo is behind me emptying a box of board books and puzzles that Grandmaman gave them last weekend. The cool thing is that he might fill it again later. He's just getting into putting things in bowls, boxes, etc. instead of constantly emptying everything and leaving a path of destruction in his wake! Don't worry I don't fool myself, I know there will always be a path of destruction.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I'm back, we made it through Tuesday just fine. First off, I'm way behind on the blog because of fricken fracken Videotron. Our internet connection has been down more than up for the past week so blogging has been impossible.

I really, really wanted to sit down and write the day before yesterday while Clara was at pre-school and Leo was napping. I needed something to distract me from obsessively counting down the hours then the minutes until I could go back and pick her up. I was completely lost, it was so weird because she's been away from me many many times but this time I was a loose ends. I could have cleaned, cooked, read a book but I think I mostly just drifted around until Leo woke up.

As expected, Clara was just fine at her first day at the Carrefour des Petites Soleils Pre-school. I spent the first 45 minutes with her but once it was time for the parents to say goodbye and start a bricolage, Clara was waving and blowing me kisses with a big smile on her face. The only trouble we had was when we crossed paths about an hour later in the gym, she was leaving and Leo and I were arriving. She got a sad look and then was shuffled out the door. About 30 seconds later she was led back into the gym in tears by one of the teachers, she wanted a last kiss. It took all that I had to put on a brave face and take her back downstairs to her class.

Fast forward to 3:15 when I arrived early to pick up my big girl. This is what I was greeted with...
Ahh, I had to wait even longer!!! At least a trip to the park meant that Clara was finally experiencing something she's been looking forward to all Summer: The String. The String is the cord that groups of kids all hold on to while walking along the sidewalk. An adult at the front and an adult at the back and a bunch of dawdling cuties in between. Clara has seen The String and coveted it at different parks all year and has asked on several occasions why she can't walk with The String. My regular answer is that she's got my hand to hold but that never really made her feel much better. Near the end of the Summer I started telling her that she may get to use The String at pre-school (another thing to pump her up about the new experience) so when I realised she was probably going to be coming back on the string I grabbed Leo and the camera and head upstairs to greet the class. I only had to wait about 5 minutes before I got the first glimpses of our band of little sunshines. I realised I shouldn't let Clara see me until she was close enough for it to be safe to let go of The String. The last thing I wanted was for her to see me, drop her handle and dart off toward me, NOT something her teachers would appreciate I'm sure.

So yes, I hid.

I peered around a concrete pillar and watched the 5 kids and their two teachers ramble towards me with lunchboxes in hand. I watched Clara and Chloe and all I could think about was how they were out experiencing the world on their own, without their mothers, and biggest champions at their side. For a split second I worried that Clara was upset about having been left all day in the care of relative strangers and that she'd be upset with me or cry when she saw me. She didn't. She smiled and said "Hi Mommy" and let me take her picture (yes, her eyes are closed but it was the only picture I took)
Then the information extraction session began. I of course wanted to know EVERYTHING about her day but, a three year old really isn't big on sharing details. With some very specific and pointed questions I managed to piece together parts of the day. That, along with a quick report from Emmanuelle gave me this general outline...
-Bricolage; made a fish, used sparkles.
-Gym; balls, running.
-Songs; Tout les Legumes.
-Lunch; ate grapes first then pita.
-NAP!! What??? Yep, Clara was one of 2 who fell asleep during "quiet time"
-Park; wore a Carrefour Bib.
-Walked back; Chloe tripped.

That's all folks! Day two is tomorrow and I think I'm going be a bit more emotionally ready. I'm gonna pack her lunch now and add a new pictoral note for her to open at lunchtime, she said she liked the heart with Clara and Mommy inside last time!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Tomorrow is Clara's first day of "school". Her lunch is packed, I've got to pick out her clothes and write her name in her jacket... I still can't quite wrap my head around the whole thing. My baby is going to eat lunch two days a week WITHOUT me!!! You can be sure I'll be there plenty early to pick her up at the end of the day tomorrow. There might even be a tear in my eye. I'll be back with a full report tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Clara and Marc are playing with a puzzle on the carpet right behind me. Here is the conversation...
Marc- can you find that piece?
Clara - no, say "pig can you find that piece"
Marc- ok, pig can you find a fish?
Clara - ok, Here it is.
Marc - good little piggy!
Clara - thanks, I'm a pig right now but in a few weeks I'll be the princess again.
Marc- great (laughing) I love my princess!

They've been having odd conversations all evening.

Friday, September 09, 2005

This morning Clara announced that she wanted to make cupcakes with coloured icing. I just wanted to get out of the house so what did I do? I called Karen!

"Can we come over this morning? Can we bake cupcakes AND decorate them?"

Thankfully Karen being a good friend and generally up for just about anything if it will keep our kids happy and entertained said "sure, come over whenever you are ready!" So that is what we did. It was fun; the kids each cracked an egg, added sprinkles, mixed stuff and then got to watch the cupcakes bake with their noses pressed to the oven window. This is much more fun that the stern warnings I give about being close to our oven when it is on, I swear the outside of the oven is as hot as the inside!
Then Karen whipped up a delicious cream cheese frosting that we, I mean they coloured and slathered all over the poor unsuspecting cupcakes. Then it was quiet... until the first one (Zach or Clara) started asking for seconds!

PS. Leo is officially 11 months old today... ugh where has the time gone?? I expect to be a complete basket case this time next month. Just giving you all fair warning :)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

We spent a lovely Labour day weekend doing... nothing! It was great. On Sunday we ventured out to the Mount Royal street sale and made a few purchases. Clara got her face painted and Leo enjoyed the front seat of the stroller while his big sis was napping out in the back. On Monday we did a lot of cleaning and de-cluttering (the story of my life). Thankfully Clara is getting better and better at letting things go. For example, we have several story books that we never read (because they really aren't that good). I asked her if we could donate them to charity, we negotiated and she ended up keeping one and giving two away. Pretty good for the kid who had to bring home a piece of remnant CARPET from Andre's building which is still under construction!

Once the vacation was over Leo decided to treat me to some teething, or at least I think that is what is going on. He's had a fever for 48 hours and is having lots of trouble sleeping. Poor little guy, but he's in excellent spirits all things considered!

Clara is pretending to be a cat and a bunny more and more every day. In fact, I never know what to call her anymore. On the weekend while she was in bunny mode, Clara ate a huge plate of salad. This is way out of the ordinary for my human daughter so, I've chosen to embrace her bunny tendencies for now.

Friday, September 02, 2005

I am a member and regular contributor on an online parenting discussion board. Recently most of our members posted updates on our kids, I thought I'd repost my updates here. By the way, I am rather long-winded so get comfortable!

My APU baby is dangerously close to exiting this category! Leo is coming up on 11months old, he crawls at the speed of light, cruises around on furniture, plays ball with his big sis, giggles and belly laughs all the time and gives the best, open-mouth slobbery kisses! Just yesterday Leo clapped for the first time, last week he learned to wave, he is basically at that explosion phase of development, he copies noises (like coughs, cars driving by, and certain words) and impresses us all daily.

I'm exhausted by keeping up with him though. I've done lots more baby proofing this time around for my little inquisitive boy. He loves his Papa - as long as I am in the room too
apu/nixweiss.gif I think he's at the beginning of separation anxiety, on Friday I went to visit friends and walked around the corner of the room to see what Clara was doing. Leo let out a wail like his leg was being cut off. I rushed back around the corner and as soon as he saw me he smiled with tears in his eyes and crawled over to me and clasped my leg tightly (oh yeah, he loves climbing my leg to get into a standing position). He's done stuff like this with Marc too if I leave the apartment to go to the store or put the garbage out!

He eats well, nurses plenty (although the scratching and pinching has not improved) and sleeps OK. He has a pretty cool internal schedule, I can count on a few things... nap 2 hours after he wakes in the morning, poop about an hour after waking, nap again at about 3pm, bed at around 8pm. Clara was never so helpful as to provide me with a schedule so I'm enjoying this lifestyle quite a bit. Of course it took about 9 months for it to crystallize but I'm happy none the less! He is sleeping for a few hours by himself in the evenings which is also a huge improvement from earlier in the Summer and he loves being read to before bed. Right now Mr Brown Can Moo is his favorite book

Can you tell I'm in love with my little guy? It feels good to gush about him a bit! Thanks for asking

Clara is 3 years old now and so so BIG. She is tall and strong and is always assumed to be at least 4 or 5 years old by other moms at the park.

She talks a million miles a minute and her vocabulary comes straight from me
apu/hide.gif When she talks I hear myself, she uses the same words, inflections, and body language that I do, it is so very weird!! Her speech is getting clearer, just when I started to wonder if I should have her assessed by a speech therapist she starts correcting some of her long time mispronunciations. I may still have her checked out, because she has yet to make an "F" sound as far as I know and there are lots of other oddities in her speech still hanging about.

This summer Clara's been having so much fun in the water. Every opportunity we get to swim has brought on huge improvements in her abilities in the water. I swear if
I were brave enough to let her take off her water wings she'd be swimming on her own by now. What gets me is her lack of fear. She goes underwater, goes down waterslides, jumps into lakes and pools and loves it all.

Clara is quite the city girl. I feel very confident with her now on the sidewalk. She knows the rules for walking in the city and I let her run a bit ahead or hang behind me when she wants some independence without my heart racing, wondering if she's gonna dart off the sidewalk or something.

Right now she's totally pumped to start "school", she'll be in a program for 3-5 year olds that is 2 days a week and is entirely in French. I'm not entirely ready but she seems good to go. It helps that it is through the same community organization that runs the mom and me playgroups we've been attending for 2 years already. She says she'll miss Leo but we'll see about that!

Clara is still all about imaginative play. Mostly using stuffed animals, Little People, or her hands as the characters. She loves to paint and every time we set up the paints I get at least a dozen works of art. I've been teaching her to fold (laundry) and she enjoys the feeling of pride when she succeeds but I get the feeling that frustration gets in the way of enjoying the process of learning. We've abandoned learning writing skills at the moment because she'd just get so upset when she couldn't reproduce what I'd done. She loves it when I point out a "T" or a "1" in her drawings, she can make "C" and "O" deliberately so we write that a LOT

OK, this is getting long... point form for everything else that comes to my head
-Tantrums are getting fewer and more far between. Mostly because we've been connecting well lately. -Bedtime is so much more pleasant.
-Plays so well with her brother most of the time. Loves to make him laugh or have him follow her around.

-She's super connected with her Papa. It is the end of the world if she doesn't get a "Hug n' a kiss" before he leaves for work

OK, so in a nutshell, I've got an awesome kid

Thursday, September 01, 2005


"Take my picture"