Wednesday, December 20, 2006

After several nights of cough induced interrupted sleep, Leo slept in his bed all night again last night! He's only done it a handful of times previously but today was an especially big deal. I heard him crying - you know, that kind of half asleep pitiful cry at about 7:25am. I was half asleep myself and didn't think to do anything about it especially since he quieted within 30 seconds. I figured he'd nodded back off to sleep for a bit more. At 7:30 I heard 4 little feet padding into my room. I opened my eyes to see Clara holding her arm around Leo's shoulders leading him toward our bed. They climbed in and Clara told me that Leo cried when he woke up so she went down to his bunk and snuggled with him for awhile. Can I just get an "awwww"? She went on to say that he gave her one of his patented big hugs and left her ears alone (this is more shocking than anything else).

So, as you can imagine, Marc and I were full of praise for both kids accomplishments; Leo for being a "big boy" in his own bed and Clara for being such a loving big sister and comforting her brother when she heard him.

Now, this my friends, is how this Mama likes to wake up in the morning!

Monday, December 18, 2006

4am Sunday morning, Clara appears at my bedside. She says "my body is distracting me, I can't sleep" and promptly barfs on me! Whew, what a way to wake up.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

When Marc came home from work on Friday, I informed him I was Super-Mom. Why? Because I managed to whip up an Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer costume while make a delicious home cooked meal.

Clara seems to have a little obsession with Rudolph, it started earlier in the week when she coloured all the pages in her Christmas colouring book that had a reindeer on them. Then, at the Carrefour Christmas party the spectacle was an excellent play about Rudolph which really caught the kids attention, and finally as a gift from Pere Noël she got a little stuffed reindeer. So, needless to say, by dinner time Clara was in full-reindeer lovin' mode.

Note the bell around her neck, the antlers and, well, the obvious nose :)

The very next day was the Christmas party at Les Ateliers (another community center we've been going to this Fall). Clara got a beautiful face painting, she asked to be a sapin. The artist double checked, "une sapin de Noel?" Clara nodded seriously. A friend commented that Clara may grow up to be an environmentalist, she certainly has enough of an interest in trees!

The party was loads of fun, Santa made another appearance and each child was called up one by one to sit on his lap and recieve a gift. Leo astounded me, when he heard Santa call his name he hopped off my lap and pointed to himself saying "Yeo, that's me" as he walked right up to the big guy!
Clara was also a super-star, she waited patiently for at least 20 minutes for her turn to sit with Santa. It was obvious that she was excited and you could see it in her eyes every time he called a name that she was hoping it would be hers. But she was content to chant the names of each child while they made their way to the front and when her turn did come you should have seen her leap to her feet with a huge grin spread across her face!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Leo's vocabulary is keeping us laughing these days. Just yesterday when Clara and Papa brought in the Christmas tree he looked at it excitedly and yelled "pumpkin patch!" "No Leo, it is a Christmas tree, a sapin." "OK mama, a Kima Teeeeee"!

Basically Leo's rule of thumb seems to be this, if the picture or item has anything birthday related or any imagery of fire he insists it is a "Birthday Party!" All pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, and orange coloured squash alone or in groupings are considered "Pumpkin Patches."

Now, why the Christmas tree fell into that second catagory I will never know.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Leo has it all figured out:
Me: Are you my big boy
L: No!
Me: Are you my baby then?
L: No!
Me: Well, who are you?
L: (with a big smile) I'm LEO!

Playing at Complex Desjardins

Clara and the Amarylis

Auntie Dorothy sent us home from Toronto with an Amarylis bulb ready to force. We planted it and have been watching it grow. It is impressive how much it grows in just one day. We thought we should take a picture of it today to record how much more it will grow before it blooms. I took the picture of but she took this one of Leo and I with her hand covering the flash creating a very cozy effect!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Clara and Leo spent almost an entire hour at the table today. They we not eating, colouring, or painting they were playing with BUTTONS!

A mama and baby caterpillar

On our way home from the Carrefour Leo was complaining that he had not pushed the button on the elevator. I told him I'd let him play with lots of buttons when we got home but they would be different from elevator buttons. When we got in the front door Leo was literally chanting buttons, buttons, buttons! So I helped him into his booster seat and pulled out a ziplock bag of mixed buttons we'd bought months ago (for a project I never did). I poured them all out on the table and Clara quickly scrambled up beside Leo. They sorted buttons, arranged them in shapes, gave them voices, and just played and played and played. I joined in from time to time but for the most part they took care of themselves. There is something to be said for the simplest of pleasures.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Road Trip to Toronto

I had to squeeze into the bed after taking this pic at Natasha's!

Leo with some cute girlies (Antonia and Mariella)

Surprise birthday party for Auntie Dorothy.

Baby Malcolm being the cutest thing EVER.

Hanging at the pet store with their new APU friend.

The last day was spent in their pjs!

I caught this on video at the Timmies just outside of Montreal on our way home.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Clara has taken to calling me "MOM." It feels weird. I haven't said anything about it but I really hope she goes back to "Mama" soon. Thankfully Leo has not picked up the habit as well. If he does I'll be heartbroken :lol

Monday, November 06, 2006

I am becoming one busy Mama. Between the kids activities and my own, blogging is falling off my priority list. But, I can't leave for Toronto without at least sharing some very cute Halloween photos!

Clara chose her own costume this year, she wanted to be an Apple-Maple Tree. With some creative help from Papa and soem supplies from Wendy Edmonds' wedding, we came up with this...

Leo didn't get much a a choice, more of an offer "do you want to be a dog for Halloween?" Luckily for me he said "yes!"
There were lots of opportunities for Clara and Leo to get dressed up, sometimes Leo told people he was a cat, and other times he said he was a dog - I like that, it shows he's a flexible kinda guy :)

Trick or Treating was hilarious, we joined up with Lea and her family to roam the streets of the Plateau in search of "bon bons" The girls squeeled and ran as far as we'd let them and Leo either trotted along holding someone's hand or hung out in his stroller-throne eating boxes of raisins. After we had pulled in enough loot we all came back to our house for some tea and a few candies. An hour later, Clara and Lea were tearing up and down the hallway screetching in their birthday suits!! Oh my goodness, I just about split my sides laughing at the two examples of why too much sugar is B.A.D. All the while Leo was playing happily with baby Naomie who had just learned to sit up last week and was feeling pretty good about herself.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Marc is quite sure Leo is a genius and that the two of them share great taste. After Leo took a bath last week Marc noted the message our little guy left on the side of the tub "sale dvr." Marc is sure Leo is informing us that we neet to buy a second DVR, on sale. I say "since when do you go out an buy everything your kids ask for?"

Friday, October 20, 2006

Me: Look Clara, its snowing outside!
Clara: Oooooo, is it for real Mama?
Me: Yup, that is real snow.
Clara: (excitedly) That means it is Christmas tomorrow! Is it mama?
Me: Not quite, we haven't even celebrated Halloween yet! We have quite awhile to go before it is Christmas sweetie.
Clara: Oh.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Thank you Auntie Patricia, Uncle Ashley, and Malcolm for the birthday presents!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


You turned 2 yesterday and I’m still reeling. Right now you are playing with Clara behind me. You have an elaborate game going which involves matchbox cars and jungle animals. You are talking loudly and expressing your animal’s emotions using a mixture of English and Leo. You speak with excellent intonation and gesturing and your words are getting clearer all the time. Lately you love to repeat anything we say to you. At the Chinese lanterns the other night you kept saying “petty” every time I asked you if something was pretty. Last night you tore into Rory saying “I’m mad, I tell mama.” I’d never heard you say that before… if was terribly cute but it did hurt Rory’s feelings. I think he was okay after some reassurances from his Papa. You were fine after you’d cooled off a little too.

Papa and I made you a birthday cake in the shape of an airplane this year. You love planes and helicopters. You scan the sky at the first sound of a jet engine and you point wildly into the blue once you’ve located it. You even know the difference between an airplane and a helicopter, I don’t know if it is a visual distinction or an auditory one but I am so impressed however it is you’ve figure it out.

You STILL hate getting your diaper changed. You hang out on the potty whenever Clara takes a bathroom break but you still don’t have a clue what you are really supposed to be doing there! You deny the possibility of a dirty diaper no matter how bad the stench and you have a weird sense of humor in that you poop every time I take you to the local library. I am not kidding about this either – I can’t understand what our little Plateau library has done to you to make you want to take a dump every time you go through its doors!?!

At 2 years old you still love to do puzzles, you also love to play rough with Clara and Papa rolling and squealing on the our big bed. You like to draw quick masterpieces but are not too interested in spending more than 5 minutes at the table doing crafts. Playdough does keep your attention; unfortunately the mess you leave behind restricts the regularity of that activity. I’d have to say one of your favorite activities away from play carpet is doing “bubbles” as you say. If I appear to be filling the kitchen sink to do dishes you race to the dining room and start dragging a chair toward the kitchen chanting “bubbles, bubbles, BUBBLES” then you demand a “soon” aka a spoon in order to stir your bubbly concoction and heaven forbid I actually try to wash a dish in there!

The animal – car game has just ended and you and Clara have now requested a cartoon. I said “yes” and you are now parked in your spot on the couch. You like TV but you are able to walk away from it (unlike your big sis). You love shows about animals, Caillou, and anything with bright colours and songs.

There are so many things I could say about you at 2 years old Leo, but I could never get it all on paper before you turn 3! Your smile is infectious, they way you say “cheeeeeeeeese” when the camera is pointing your way makes everyone giggle, your obsession with my ears and nose is slowly driving me bananas, your self soothing habit of sucking your own tongue makes you look like Maggie Simpson without the pacifier, the speed in which you drop to your hands and knees and meow like a cat is stunning, they way you whisper “I wuv u too mama” makes tears spring to my eyes every night at bedtime, your willingness to give hugs ‘n kisses to everyone you like is just plain sweet.

Thanks for being you Leo-boy, I wuv you :)


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Aux Pommes avec Le Carrefour des Petite Soleils!

Four little sunshines

The apple pickers enjoying the "fruits" of their labour

Bumpin' up and down in a BIG green wagon

Dancing in the pumpkin patch

The ground was muddy but the rain held off, all in all it was a great day. We made it home with two bags of fresh picked Spartan apples and two lovely pumpkins. This afternoon Clara and I made apple dumplings a la Bev and we are planning on making a pie once we've polished off the dumplings and have room in the fridge!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Because she is cute and growing up too darned fast, here are some pics of Clara B.

... and one with the little bro cause he's always sneaking in :)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Playing dress up chez nous... as usual, they both ended up being cats again. I should just get them a couple cat costumes and be done with it!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Well, I guess I can now start reporting silly things my son says. Just now he told me "nose broken" when I said I smelled something... something like a stinky diaper! This is evidence that he is indeed always thinking up new strategies to avoid diaper changes. What a little stinker. By the way, the little smart Alec comment follows weeks if him yelling "NOOOO" and shaking his head wildly at the mere mention of a dirty diaper... I guess he finally realized that the tactic was not terribly effective.

Monday, September 18, 2006

First day of school! First day of school... weeeee

Clara and Leo all ready to head off to the Carrefour. They were so excited, getting them ready to go was a relative breeze.

Clara in her classroom getting settled in.

Arriving back at school on the "serpant" at the end of the day. "I made a new friend" was music to this mama's ears!

We had a super day. Clara felt supremely comfortable back in Emmanuelle class despite being without Chloe. Separating them this year was a hard decision for me to make but I really feel it was the right thing to do. When Clara told me Mathilde was her new friend and Mathilde pointed to Clara and said "copain" I was thrilled beyond words. Leo also picked up where he left off at the Carrefour regardless of the new animatrice and the new gang of kids. He dutifully started cleaning up the toys at the first notes of "On a bien jouer" and adored being back in the gymnasium. This Fall is going to be such fun - I can feel it!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Little Leo went to bed at 5:45 this afternoon. He just can't go a whole week without napping. Poor babe was a wreck, he fell asleep finally clutching a cheetah and my neck! Of course, today is the day Clara decided to take a nap at 5:00... she slept for about 40 minutes and was shocked when I asked her "did you have a good sleep?" She looked at me with an incredulous expression on her face "I fell asleep, did I?" She really thought she'd just been lying in bed for a few minutes... what a silly. Now she and Marc are playing Guitar Hero behind me. I keep hearing "we rock", "that was awesome", "cool maaan!" This is what Friday night has become at our house :)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Lately Clara has been getting dressed all by herself in the mornings, sometimes even before announcing she is awake. This morning she added a new trick to her morning repertoire; she got her own breakfast. Marc had poured Clara's cereal into a bowl when he and Leo first got up in the morning (before Clara had risen for the day). It seems that both Leo and Marc went back to bed after their early snack and Clara found her cereal sitting on the table when she tiptoed out of her room in the morning. She did what any one would do, she got the milk out of the fridge and poured it in her bowl! Such a simple act but there was so much pride associated with it when she bounded into our room to tell us about it after she'd eaten her Rice Crispies.

This mornings events just reminded me of another morning over a week ago. Clara woke me up by whispering in my ear "I've got a surprise for you Mama... I followed my dream." I was pretty foggy at first but the word surprise caught my attention and I had a brief moment of panic before she went on "I dreamed that the living room was all clean, so I decided to clean it up." Once I understood what she wanted to show me I got right out of bed and it was true, Clara had cleaned up the whole play area. I remember what it looked like the night before; toys strewn all over the carpet, puzzles and stuffed animals mixed in with Little People and jungle animals. But when Clara lead me out it was all put away - even in the right places!!! I of course loaded her with praise for an excellent job and I remember spouting "you should always follow your dreams." It seemed like a funny thing to say at the time despite the fact that I really do want her to follow her dreams, I just expected a different kind of dream I guess.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Since when did it become part of my job description to holler "don't sit on your brother!" followed by "don't stand on you sister!" repeatedly? Ugh, they are having a ball but I'm going slowly i.n.s.a.n.e

Oh, now I am getting the "Leo's being rough" comment..... Lets not talk about who started the rough play in the first place!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Auntie Ann Marie is home, Auntie Ann Marie is home! How did we celebrate? By making a BIG mess! Wait, let me back up a bit, we did not make a big mess, LEO made a big mess.

Auntie Patricia and Malcolm can collaborate this story... in fact Patricia was the only one who saw it all happen. Well, she saw everything, but I think I can safely assume a lot of it was through tears of laughter.

Let me set the scene. Patricia, Malcolm, Clara, Leo and I are sitting in the living room. We are expecting Papa T, Cathy, and Ann Marie from the airport any minute. We've been waiting all day so anticipation is pretty high - it has been a whole year since we've seen our baby sister you know!

I don't know what prompted me to look over in Leo's direction; was it a look of horror on Patricia's face, a gasp from Clara, or the sound of copious amounts of water hitting the floor just to the right of me? All I know is when I looked over to my son he was standing directly in front of the fish tank SOAKING WET. Based on intelligence from Auntie Patricia, Leo had pulled the fish tank just enough to tip it over and send a waterfall on/over his head but not enough to leave the tank on its side. In the chaos of that instant Clara ran over to Leo to check out what had happened and promptly slipped in a large puddle and landed flat on her back. She screamed "what happened, why am I wet???" I scooped her up and plopped her on the front carpet (where she couldn't slip again), I did the same to Leo who was still standing stunned in front of the half full fish tank and instructed them both to "STAY ON THE CARPET". Clara then started screeching "what about Violet Beauregard" (the fish), and in the insanity of the moment I just yelled, "Violet is fine...oh wait where is Violet?!?" The tank showed no signs of life. In that split second all I could think of is "oh crap, Clara landed on Violet" But, after a quick scan of the area I saw Violet flopping around in a puddle. I dashed to the kitchen and grabbed a little bowl to scoop up our friend in peril. It took a few attempts to scoop up the fish but I did get her into the bowl and tucked back into her half full tank in time (whew). During this time, Patricia was either laughing or trying to calm Clara while keeping both kids on the carpet and out of danger of slipping on the wet floor.

Once the immediate panic/horror/danger was past the fits of giggles overtook Patricia and I. Instead of running for a mop I ran for my camera which promptly turned off before I could snap a photo. Luckily Patricia was able to locate her camera and caught the still stunned and very wet Leo who refused to get off the front carpet for about five minutes after the commotion was over.

While I mopped up the mess, and Patricia stripped down the wet kiddos we both laughed until it hurt. Luckily, Papa T, Cathy, and Ann Marie didn't show up in the middle of our freak out... they arrived to find a pajama clad Clara and a nekkid Leo who was refusing to take a both and repeating his mantra "all wet, head, boom, bowl".

This is a story that will go down in the record books. I will never forget it and I'm pretty sure Clara and Leo have the whole thing burned into their memories forever as well.

And here we are, all together again dry and safe... well, minus Papa T and Cathy who were our photographers.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Somehow I never did blog about two very important events in Clara's life this Summer.

I don't think many words are necessary...

July 24th
The big girl earned her bunk beds and has been sleeping comfortably in the top bunk ever since!

August 13th

Need I say more? Well, I do need to say more. The bike was purchased on the spur of the moment at a garage sale. It didn't have training wheels so the very next day Clara was preparing to go to Canadian Tire to buy some, when it became apparent, she didn't just want training wheels, she wanted to pimp her bike entirely. She wanted to get a horn, a flag for the back, and ribbons for the handle bars! Marc convinced her she should just start out with one thing at a time and focus on learning how to ride her bike before adding distractions. She didn't really buy it, but we didn't give her a choice. It was all OK in the end though, look at the smile...

It seems that Clara turned 13 this weekend. "Why would you say that?" you may ask, "did she not just celebrate her 4th birthday?" Be that as it may, here are the facts...

This weekend I found her sprawled out on her tummy across a chair and footstool, chewing her fingernails while watching Peter Pan. I practically heard her say "that's so lame" It was a typical teen pose if I've ever seen one.

When Malcolm was being fussy while Patricia tried to grab a quick bite to eat last night, Clara spouted "just pick him up" in the most know-it-all tone of voice, one only a 13 year-old can muster, I'm certain.

Finally, today, back home Clara spat in anger on Leo's sheets while Marc was right there watching! When Marc doled out the natural consequence for the disgusting act (switching their sheets so that she had to deal with the spit) she came out of the room bawling, put her head on my lap and proceeded to mutter "its dumb, so dumb, so dumb..." and her final bit of flair was "STUPID!" I'm still not quite sure if she was mad at herself, or Marc. Regardless, Marc and I silently giggled while she finished her tirade and forced on straight faces when she lifted her head to discuss how we would deal with the dirty sheet.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I know, I know, I'm not supposed to find this stuff cute but, I just can't help it! Here is Leo showing off his perfected pout position. The best part is how he carefully lowers himself to the floor, crosses his arms and puts his head down. It is so calculated and un-tantrum-like but when he does it he really is showing how upset he is. Generally the pout occurs with a refusal to hand over some carbohydrate rich snack (hence the kitchen floor), or the suggestion of a real meal instead of yet another "snack".

I don't fool myself, I know this is small potatoes - he is only 22 months old, not even a "terrible two" yet!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Thanks to Karen, Chloe, and Zach I got to spend yesterday afternoon alone with Leo. Clara extended her park date and went home with her buddies and I took Leo grocery shopping. The fun part was after the groceries were done and I'd put away all our purchases - Leo and I PLAYED! I spent the entire afternoon down on the floor doing puzzles, reading books, making choo choo and vroom vroom noises with my son and it was just a wonderful moment in time. That is not entirely true, I did do a load of laundry while we played but luckily, Leo thinks putting wet clothes in the dryer is a game so as far as he was concerned we partied all afternoon! I think it was some long overdue one-on-one time. I really need to make an effort to fit that in with him more often. I guess once preschool starts up again we'll have more time to spend doing toddler-centric activities. Then the challenge will be scheduling special times to spend just with Clara - indoor ice skating here we come!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

We are home! Our family vacation to New Hamster ahem... New Hampshire was wonderful. We relaxed with Trina, Medhi, and Anissa for a whole week on Ladyslipper Drive. We hung out at the beach, talked about sharing, visited Portsmouth and the Children's museum, talked about being careful, played Guitar Hero (ok, that was just the adults), and tried to convince the under 5 crowd to go to bed before 10pm - with limited success! But honestly, it was all such fun.

First beach day

Searching for treasures

The drive to NH was surprisingly easy. Both Clara and Leo barely slept but maintained a positive outlook during the 6 hour adventure through the mountains of Vermont. Leo was generally placated by apples (he ate 2 1/2 during the drive), and Clara just enjoyed the opportunity to chat and play imaginative games with the toys we'd loaded in the back seat. Oh, and the MP3s of Robert Munsch reading his stories was also a big success.

Clara and Anissa played so well together all week despite being together for 6 days straight (that is one looong playdate). They chatted, screamed, ran, jumped, climbed and giggled... oh did they giggle. We heard so many priceless conversations over the week. I wish I could remember all the hilarious things they said... Anissa confided in me at one point that her Mama was not a very good driver but softened the statement by saying "I'm so proud of her." During a conversation about what she would be when she grew up Clara told Trina she would be a "Mommy that works - maybe I'll be a policeman, or a fire truck"

An evening walk

Jumping Beans

Leo was as charming as ever all week. He hauled Marc and I out of bed every morning begging for "bekfast" or "ceral" and then continued to eat through out the day. He pretty well trained all the adults at his disposal to feed him on demand. I caught several serious conversations between he and Medhi, Leo would be babbling and pointing at whatever foodstuff was interesting him at the moment and Medhi was repeating his request in a clearer form of English "you want more bagel, ok, let me get you one" Talk about having people wrapped around your little finger!

Children's Museum in Portsmouth

Leo accomplished something that I was not expecting on this vacation. On his second day at the beach he WALKED ON SAND!!! Yes, Leo finally let sand touch his toes without screaming "up, up, up" holding his arms in the air. I was pretty worried about how he'd manage on the beach before we headed to the "Seacoast" but I was relieved on the first beach day that he would walk on both wet and dry sand while wearing his sandals.. I was full out shocked that he allowed me to take off his sandals on the second day. The truth is, he was completely distracted by a bucket of hotwheels on the beach and decided he must walk towards them despite his naked feet!

Last group portrait!

Before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye. Anissa calmed herself by saying "see you soon in Montreal" and Clara invited her to come and play with our toys when she visited. There were lots of cute hugs and kisses and then it was off on what turned out to be a slightly less fun drive back home again. I forgot the apples!!! And of course, Leo had some moments in the car that just could not be smoothed over by grapes or fruit bars and we ended up making more stops along the way to cheer up the apple-less toddler. We did see a few rainbows when we hit Quebec which Clara loved and we made a final stop at Burger King in Saint-Luc which seemed to cheer both kiddos up and made the last half hour in the car enjoyable again!

Taken during the only 40 minute nap of the day

Ditto, except he slept for about an hour.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Marc: Why do you insist on digging your toes into my flesh???
Leo: (keeping his gaze averted from Marc's, said nothing.)

Oh the things you find yourself saying!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Ack! Why do I so rarely have my cell phone on me when I go out?

Because my son loves phones and swipes it at his first available opportunity. He then roams the house saying "hello, hello, bye bye, bye bye" until he gets board and then dumps said cell phone wherever his little 21-month-old heart desires! Today I found it twice; first in a basket of clean laundry and then in the middle of my bed. If you try to call me on that thing, don't expct an answer, ok?

Friday, July 21, 2006

We took the metro to have lunch with Papa today. After eating we dropped by Papa's work and when Clara, Leo and I were getting ready to leave, Clara asked if we could visit Papa's office next. Hmmm I guess we still have a few things to clarify. At least she doesn't still think he watches movies at work all day!