Wednesday, November 30, 2005

According to Clara "Papa is psychological". She told me this after he went to work this morning.

Explanation: Clara heard me asking Marc if he was feeling OK this morning, she quickly piped up "do you have a cold, Papa?" His highly sarcastic response was "No, I'm not really sick, it is just psychological, I don't want to go to work".

And, here she is, the performer herself singing Jingle Bells at the top of her voice this afternoon.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Clara gets just about everything she wants, or so it seems.

After seeing this caricature of Marc at age 3 drawn by his own Papa, she requested one too.
Marc decided to go to the original artist and asked Grand-Papa to draw a caricature of his grand-daughter in the same style. This is what he sent us.

Now I can look forward to Leo's third birthday so that we can commission a second masterpiece. It is so cool to artists in the family!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Leo is so cute. Here is why (in no particular order)...

- He is learning to jump. He bends his knees, swings his arms up in the air and never leaves the ground. It is hilarious... he gallops and "jumps" around whenever the mood strikes him.

- He says "bye-bye" as soon as someone puts on a coat or heads toward an exit. This is not reserved for people he knows; strangers are bid farewell whenever the opportunity presents itself.

- He dances to just about any music. Dancing means bending your knees and bobbing, sometimes with an additional two arms raised above the head.

-He tears off his diaper whenever he gets the chance and grins and giggles while he yanks at himself.

- He brings books to my lap all the time.

- He steals moments with the spiderman scooter whenever he can and stands on it and talks to himself for ages (never moving an inch).
- He points and barks at dogs

- He roars at the lion puzzle piece

- He greets his Papa with a "ehhh" and a smile at the end of the day (kinda like the Fonz on Happy Days).

- He gives kisses to Clara, me and Papa whenever we ask.

- He wrestles with his big sis.

- He nods or shakes his head enthusiastically when asked a question.

-He pretends to stir and drink a coffee while I have my morning mug. And heaven forbid I don't give him his own mug and spoon, he'll go after mine it its absence.

- He loves wearing his Papa's spiderman toque and looks dashing in it too.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Clara was really tired after school today. She fell asleep in the stroller one block away from the Carrefour. When we got home I carried her - none too gently, up our front stairs and deposited her on the floor. Leo promptly crawled over her while I ran back down to retrieve the stroller. Despite the flurry of activity going on around her I still was able to grab this pic before I started undressing the near comatose preschooler!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Last night at about 11pm Leo started crying. He was sleeping next to Clara in "their" room which has become the norm for the first part of the night. I've learned that Clara can sleep through just about any noise Leo can make so I was in no rush to quiet him. But, about 10 seconds after Leo let out his first cries Clara came darting out of the room. She ran halfway down the hallway, turned around, ran back, then she ran down the hallway again. I caught her in mid dash and picked her up. She was shaking. She said "i'm scared", "I thought Leo was a monster... I was having bad dreams." Poor girlie, once Marc calmed her and I quieted Leo she happily climbed back to bed and fell back asleep.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Leo woke up and chatted with the stuffed dog for ages before I couldn't help myself any longer and swung the door open with camera in tow.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Clara and Leo both LOVED Rollande's budgie. Leo really wanted to squeeze it but we manged to keep him under control!
Language is a complex thing, just ask Clara. She uses language her way. For example, everything to her is a "recipe". When she does a puzzle she looks at the "recipe" on the box, when Marc is reading the instructions for the fish tank (did I mention our new pets??) he's looking at the recipe. You get the picture. Personally I kinda like the mix up; makes me feel like cooking is important to her, which is my job, so in some weird, twisted way I feel like she is validating what I do, recipes are important!

Language is complex for Clara in less sweet ways too. She has just begun some speech therapy sessions with our friend and speech therapist, Lisa. Marc and I have known for several months that Clara's articulation was not on track but we had decided to ride it out, to see what improvement she'd make on her own. We threw that philosophy out the window when poor Clara B. showed major signs of stress over our occasional inability to understand what she was telling us. It is absolutely heartbreaking to try and decode a 3-year-old's excited chatter and not have a clue what she's going on about. What is worse is when she knows you don't understand and flies into a rage of tears and screams. After two particularly emotional episodes for Clara and myself it was clear that she would appreciate the help as much as we would so I called Lisa for guidance. And now here we are, meeting once a week until we decided to re-evaluate. I'm very encouraged by the information Lisa has provided; Clara is fine, just delayed in terms of articulation. All other aspects of her speech/language development are normal. This is what a parent wants to hear, "yes, there is a problem but we can fix it!"

With all this going on, add in 2 days a week completely in French and you know that language is a huge part of Clara's life right now. She is doing great, she's adding new words to her French vocabulary and seems proud of herself when she uses them. Recent additions to her vocabulary (that I know of) are: "poubelle", "doucement", "arret", "bonjour", "aide moi". I've gotta say, as someone who has been working on learning a second language for way too many years I proud of her for jumping in with both feet. But really, does Clara do anything half way? Nope :)

Monday, November 07, 2005

Clara fell down our front stairs today. She just lost her balance and tipped forward. I saw it happen in slow motion - not a good feeling. She went head over heels and landed with a pretty loud wail. Luckily she only ended up with a cut lip and a scrape on her chin, I was left with a pounding heart and the shakes for at least half a hour.

The rest of the day was fun, we went to the Jardin d'Hiver, an indoor playspace this morning and met up with Jayne and Max. I predict it will be a great destination spot this winter when we need to get out of the house. Then Catherine treated us to a visit and some new books for Clara and Leo. We spent a nice quiet (thanks to a nap and some Tivo) afternoon catching up.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Today should have been a day in pictures entry but I didn't know it until too late so I'm going to recount our day in words instead.

When we said good-bye to Papa this morning (Leo licking and banging on the front door window) we had no plans. Our one appointment had been cancelled and laundry wasn't piled up enough to warrant a day revolving around washing, drying, folding and putting away. Clara asked to watch some cartoons and we agreed to two cartoons, one of which was her favorite - Poko. She sat with a grin on her face while she watched Poko and silly Minus, Leo enjoyed the 'toon too which was kinda cute in a brain numbing , turning to mush sort of way. Anyway, I'm glad we watched because the show gave me an idea for a morning activity; a science experiment!

After the cartoons were finished and Clara B had turned off the tube we set up a big bucket of water in the living room. We spent the next 45 minutes guessing and then testing if things would float or sink. It was so fun, Leo of course loved plopping things in the water, fishing them out and tossing it back in. Clara seemed to enjoy the anticipation of finding out what each item would do once she dropped it in the water. Our major discovery was this: most of the things we were willing to dunk in water floated.
After testing and re-testing our hypothesis Leo crashed; science is exhausting! While he slept, I showed Clara how to bob for apples. Since we had a floating apple in a bucket it seemed the obvious thing to do...

Then while I was working in the kitchen, Clara suggested we make ants on a log. Had I not been watching the cartoons this morning I would have been completely lost but luckily I has seen a Kids CBC personality show Clara how to make Ants on a log with celery, cream cheese and raisins. We substituted cream cheese for peanut butter and whipped up a fun snack.

The weather looked so confusing this morning, but when I realised it was grey but it was 15 degrees I took the kiddos to the park after lunch. I guess it was nap time because we had the whole place to ourselves. It was Leo's first trip to the park as a walker and he had so much fun walking (and falling) in the sand, he followed Clara around and they swang and went down the slides together. To be honest, today's park trip seemed so much more fun than the ones this Summer when Leo was confined and often frustrated.

After a very brief "quiet time" Clara and I made pumpkin cookies while Leo slept (yes, it was a two nap day not the norm anymore) and then I convinced her to play on her own a bit while I made chili for dinner. Too bad the day didn't end there. Soon after the chili was on the stove and Leo woke up, our idyllic, fun day came to an end. Clara was obviously tired and her exhausted, grumpy, defiant alter ego appeared. The last few hours between then and bedtime were a bit harrowing but thankfully sleep came and took my daughter to where she needed to go. Leo on the other hand was wide awake much later than the usual 8pm bedtime (the shortfall of a double nap day) so I've only just gotten to sit down now, at five to ten to post this little snapshot in time.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Halloween was FUN! I've been working on Clara's costume for about two weeks so seeing her in it yesterday and today was very gratifying, especially since she looks so cute as a puppy dog. All the sewing and late night phone calls to Auntie Dorothy paid off, Clara loves the costume and I'm excited for her to play with it whenever she feels like barking or chasing her tail.

Leo dressed up as Farmer for the Carrefour Halloween Party although he didn't dig the hat at all. I did manage to catch a few pics of him in his full garb.
For Halloween itself, I took Clara and Leo out trick or treating. We went very early because we were having guests over for a pot luck dinner. The timing worked out fine and she got to have her first taste of the trick or treating without overloading on the candy. We knocked on 3 doors and she was thrilled with the outcome.

Cohen, Max, Dorothy and their entourages joined us for a Halloween dinner, I wish I'd pulled the camera out because they were all so cute (they don't have to wear costumes to be cute!)

Today Clara had her Carrfour party and came home with a few more pieces of chocolate and candy; this holiday is getting better and better according to my girl!