Monday, October 31, 2005

Those big feet belong to Clara B. Leo also made a ghost footprint but I guess Clara did not INSIST that we photograph it :)

Clara and Leo were both entranced by our glowing Jack O'Lantern. We enjoyed its light indoors several times before putting it outside to invite the trick-or-treaters to our door.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Where does she get this stuff? This evening Clara said I couldn't do something because I was a GIRL! What??? I of course set her straight and told her the reason I couldn't reach the stuffed puppy behind the couch was all about the length of my arms and had nothing to do with the fact that I'm a girl. I'm hoping she brought up the girl thing as a result of a conversation we'd had earlier about who were girls and are boys (Leo was walking around buck naked at the time of that discussion)

Yes, Leo is walking now, he's working on perfecting his skill and spent about 15 minutes this afternoon concentrating on how to stand up without the help of furniture or people. In fact he practically broke out into a jog when following a squealing Clara down the hallway!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Dancing the afternoon away!

I gave Clara the camera after our dancing session to see what kind of pictures she would take. After a quick lesson on holding the button down long enough for the camera to take a picture she took 38 shots of our living room - mostly of the floor!

Here are a few of my personal favorites...

And the one keeper; a portrait of her brother

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Leo spent a lot of time on his feet this weekend. Today we found the key to getting him to walk... give him two duplo blocks to put away. He happily trotted back and forth from the duplo buckets with both his hands full. Every time he dropped the pieces into the bucket he'd stop and clap giving Marc, Clara and I a big smile :)

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Playing on Mount Royal. Leo did eventually wake up and enjoy the leaves as well and Clara loved being a "reindeer".

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I picked up Clara and Leo from the Halte Garderie this morning. I had been volunteering for the Carrefour bazaar. When I asked Clara how the morning had gone she said, with a disgusted look on her face "they didn't say en francais!" I guess Catherine and Marie Josee don't insist on the kids speaking French like Emmanuel and Alexandra. She seemed thoroughly opposed to this new freedom of language and I just laughed and told her she could have spoken French anyway, even if they didn't remind her. That was the end of the conversation.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

When I left the house this morning to bring Clara to the Carrefour I knew what I would be blogging about tonight. She insisted on bringing her "umbrella" along on our walk in the rain. You may think, "excellent idea - that Clara is a smart one" until you find out what her "umbrella" is. When you discover it is nothing more than a stick that we've been harboring in our closet since last Spring you may laugh, but when you see her walking along Saint Denis St. holding her stick high as if it were in fact, a true umbrella you may just fall over laughing.

Sadly our umbrella story does not end there. On our way home this afternoon the umbrella met an unfortunate demise, it got stuck in and then fell through a grate in the sidewalk! You can not imagine the utterly horrified and sorrowful wail that Clara B. produced. She was devastated. She cried and cried and I felt so sad for her. She's been taking that darned stick out in the rain for months, when other kids had real umbrellas, she was happy with her stick. So what did I do? I decided then and there that we would go directly to Pharmaprix to buy Clara a real umbrella. As you can imagine, the sobbing quickly subsided and was replaced by many repetitions of "yeah, yeah, lets go to the pharmacy Mama" and even though she was still doing that pitiful breath catching thing that follows any serious crying jag we walked to the store excited by the idea of a new purchase.
And here she is, with her brand spankin' new Winnie-the-Pooh umbrella and a grin that says it all.

Our fun didn't end there. We had a late snack after our shopping expedition and Clara found something extremely funny...
Oh yeah it was this...
and this...
Who is he calling a loser???

Saturday, October 15, 2005

This is what happens when I try to get a picture with both kids! Maybe one day we'll succeed.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Darn it, Leo is gonna be walking before I know it... he may even start without me noticing! That is what happened during his birthday party this afternoon. I didn't even realize until someone pointed out that he'd just taken several steps!!

Here is the walking timeline so far:
Tuesday morning at the Carrefour - Leo takes two small steps three times in the gymnasium. All three times, he stepped tentatively looking towards the person egging him on, stopped and clapped at himself wearing a huge grin then sat down and crawled the rest of the way over.

Thursday afternoon at home surrounded by our friends - Leo walks to Jenne who is holding a juicy red apple. Yes, Leo is very motivated by food... I wonder where he got that from???

Of course, regardless of the fact that the party today was for Leo and Cohen, Miss Clara B. maintained her place in the spotlight. Here she is modeling some birthday present ribbons.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

October 9th 2005... Where has the past year gone? Yes, there were months when time seemed to be at a standstill and I wasn't sure that I'd ever get the hang of parenting two kids but for the most part I look over the past 12 months and ask that same question over and over again. Where has the time GONE?

Leo will likely be my last baby - there I've said it; so I've been savoring his babyhood even more than I did with Clara's. Every first of his, is a last of mine... first bite of food off a spoon - last time I exclusively nourish my baby, first tooth - last gummy smile, you get the idea.

Leo's first year has been thrilling; it was scary, exciting, funny, frustrating, and oh so emotional. As far as babies go Leo has been relatively easy. As an infant, as long as I was willing to keep him close and nurse when he wanted he was happy. There were many late evenings with him in the pouch while I swayed in the dark livingroom but those moments were so different from the late nights with baby Clara... Instead of wondering "will he ever sleep through the night, am I ruining him with this kangaroo care" I was content (well, relatively) knowing that this was a phase and he would get through it and that yes, eventually he would sleep longer periods away from my beating heart - just not yet.

At one year old Leo is not what most would consider a champion sleeper, he still needs a warm body snuggled up with him during the wee hours of the morning but he does sleep alone for several hours in the evening. Our nighttime routine is this; change into pyjamas, read several stories, nurse, and rock to sleep (not in arms mind you, but in his stroller!). Depending on the day the routine can last as much as an hour or as little as 10 minutes.

Watching Leo grow up this year has been a completely wild expereince. He went from a helpless baby, to an infant that light up when his big sister put her face in front of his, to a baby who played and followed big sis around, to an almost-toddler who not only follows Clara but is very capable of getting into fights and stand-offs with her too! Can you tell what a huge influence Clara has had on Leo? He seems so in love with her and it has been this way since the very beginning. Leo would ONLY laugh for Clara for several months, nothing Marc or I could do would get more than a drooly smile. As he got older, Leo could sit and play contentedly on the floor if Clara was close by playing as well. And, now that Clara is in school two days a week he obviously misses her. He looks around the condo for her when he wakes from his naps calling "Ca". Of course Leo loves Papa and Mama too, we know this from the head butting, open-mouthed kisses we both receive daily!

As much of an adventure these past 12 months have been I forsee many more adventures in the future. Leo will continue to be my "baby" and he will continue to grow and learn and laugh and love. What more can a mamma want on her son's first birthday? I've got a beautiful, healthy, loving, sweet little guy to enjoy and there is nothing more exciting for me than to see what the future holds for him.
Leo's first birthday! Our boy is hardly a baby anymore...

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Yesterday Clara, Leo and I went to an apple orchard and pumpkin patch with Clara's class from the Carrefour. Sadly I have no pictures to share because it appears I've lost our camera! I thought it would turn up today while I was cleaning but so far nothing. I have no idea where I might have lost it... the last place I've to search is the car.

After a long day out in the sun picking apples, pumpkins and gourds and an equally long and exhausting bus ride home, I asked Clara what her favorite part of the day was. She said "eating apples". Then she elaborated, "I liked when you picked the apples and I ate them." Simple pleasures :)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

You think your are careful, you think you can keep your kids safe, you think all these things until you find your baby sucking the tip of a very sharp paring knife!

Ugh, while I was distracted by the mess under his high chair Leo helped himself to the open dishwasher and pulled out the only sharp thing in there. It was also the only black handle sticking up out of an ocean of stainless steel so obviously that made it an interesting find. My heart stopped when I realised what he was holding and believe it or not, other than tears of anger that resulted from my careful extraction of the offending knife Leo is none the worse for wear.

I'd like to just note that normally I am highly paranoid about Leo playing with the dishwasher and I always close it if he is on the floor (even if I'm coming back with more dirty dishes). But this time he'd made such a mess eating dinner that I becasme focused on the need to clean it up immediately, which apparently provided Leo with an opportunity to explore uncharted territory. Yes, I've learned my lesson; leave high chair messes for Marc to clean up!