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.