Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Snip snip snip that is the sound of Clara quietly cutting out painted animals from her paint-with-water colouring book. She has a system; first she paints the picture, then she sets it aside to dry. When it is dry she carefully cuts out the animal (asking for tape if she accidentally cuts off a leg) and then uses it as a paper doll and walks it around the table talking in a strange animal-ish voice. A couple of months ago if you gave Clara scissors and a shape to cut out all you would hear was tyrade of frustrated words ending with the scissors skidding across the table and her arms folded firmly in front of her. Her fingers just wouldn't do what her brain wanted them to do but now, watch out world, this girl has got some serious manual dexterity!

Yesterday, Clara and I made muffins while Leo napped (yes, the kid who rarely sleeps during the day took a NAP!). After the batter was done I tossed her the package of paper muffin cups and slid the muffin tray in front of her. I didn't even think about how I used to have to separate the muffin cups for her, how they'd stick together and need to be pried apart by a little flick of the forefinger and thumb. Well, wouldn't you know it, my girl deftly placed one muffin cup in each spot and even noticed when two had stuck together - it was easy for her!

I'm in awe of my kid today, its a great feeling.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Clara skunked me at Candyland this afternoon. This is what happened next.

Clara: Hey, high five Leo, I won!
Leo: Yeah, I won!
Clara: No Leo, I won, you didn't even play.
Leo: High five, I won!!
Clara: NO LE-O I won, you no win, mama no win, just Clara win.
Leo: Okay..... high five, Mama won!!!
Clara: No more high five Leo.

Clara crosses her arms and shoots a dirty look in Leo's direction.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Well, it is official these kids just keep growing. No, I am not referring to the new snowsuit I had to buy Clara last week because of an inch of wrist skin sticking out between her sleeve and glove in the old one. Nor am I referring to the jeans Leo no longer needs to roll up (maybe he is growing some legs finally!). What I'm talking about is KINDERGARTEN! I registered Clara yesterday for Maternelle; It was surreal, I was filling in paperwork not really comprehending what I was doing. It was only when the school secretary was going over the documents and confirmed verbally "Elle va etre en Maternelle en Septembre?" and I had to anwser, out loud for the whole world to hear "OUI"

Of course, now I can't stop thinking about what life will be like in September 2007. There are so many unknowns in our family's future; we don't know where we will be living, so as a result we don't know for sure which school Clara will be attending. I don't know if Leo will be toilet trained so I don't know if he will be at the Carrefour preschool or if I'll get to spend one more year with him at the parent-enfant atelier. Will Clara come home for lunch or will she take her lunchbox with her in the morning? So many questions, so few answers.


Leo just brought the baby doll to me for a hug. He's been really clingy and needing lots of affection lately so I guess he's transferring some of his needs to the baby doll. I just asked him what the baby eats and he said "leaves" Hmmm, I don't think we've been hanging around enough breast fed babies lately!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

We have SNOW!!!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

On Sunday at McDonalds Leo got over his fear of slides and Clara built some muscle.

We ended up at the McDo in Beloeil after visiting Grand-maman Annette Sunday afternoon. The play structure involves several platforms in succession to get to a maze of tunnels near the ceiling and ultimately a closed spiral slide back down to the bottom. Until Sunday evening Leo had refused to go down any slide without at least holding the hand of an adult or, (and this is his top preference) being safely tucked between the legs of his Mama or Papa. Something happened that night; he gained confidence from his sister's repeated assurances of "you can do it Leo." Not only did the little dude go down the slide on his ownmany many times, he also was boosted by Clara to every one of the climbing platforms. At first I didn't realise how high Clara had to lift him each time in order for him to scramble onto the platform, it was really impressive! She squatted down, grabbed Leo around the knees and power lifted him straight up! She grunted a bit but mostly she was just encouraging him the entire time. They were both running on some serious endorphins when we dragged them out of the restaurant, both of them super proud of their accomplishments.

Marc and I laughed for ages reliving Clara's exhausted, "Leo, you are doing it, that's it Leo, you're doing fine, etc" and Leo's sing-song "I did it, I can do it!"

Clara is now so sure of her strength that yesterday while watching a car without snow tires being pushed out of a snow bank she comment in a very matter-of-fact tone "I could push that car" She cracks me up :)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Happy New Year!

I decided at the last moment to attempt a holiday photo of Clara and Leo this year and I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Of course, I had to take all these (and more) but in the end I did get a beauty.

The holidays were whirlwind of fun. Some highlights were our annual Open House party on the 23rd which was very well attended despite being held so close to Christmas, the never ending renditions of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by both Clara and Leo, kiddie cappuccinos and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas on Christmas Eve, Clara's excited "do you think Santa's been yet" at 7:20am on Christmas morning, Leo's insistence on eating his raisins from his stocking before even acknowledging any of the gifts under the tree, I could go on and on!
Kiddie cappuccino on Christmas Eve

Playing on Christmas Morning


Some of Clara's loot

Some of Leo's loot

On Boxing day we met Anissa, Chloe, Zach, and their respective parents at the Biodome. Tradition dictates that we go every year during the Caillou exhibit, as always, both kids had a great time spotting animals. I think the highlight this year was watching the beavers go in and out of their den from an underwater perspective. Caillou's show was as lo a hit for Leo, he really got into the whole audience participation aspect and charmed many of our fellow spectators calling out "Reindeer" whenever a moose flashed on the screened backdrop!
Front row seats for the Caillou show.

The holiday break was full of social gatherings, lots of playtime at home, and one day in which I was sick, sick, sick and my family had to fend for themselves. Clara and Chloe even had their first sleepover and it was a complete success. Chloe had no problem sleeping beside Clara on an airmatress in the bedroom, of course, there was the obligatory 30 minute chatting and giggling session before they allowed themselves to pass out... at 11:15pm!