Friday, June 29, 2007

Hangin' with Saint-Cat

The Jazz Festival started yesterday and we've already been twice! Last night all four of us met at Place Desjardins for a quick dinner and then headed to Lorraine Klaasen's concert of South African music. Clara and Leo went wild when they heard the loud, upbeat music. Leo was "happy feet" dancing like crazy, and Clara was doing pirouette after pirouette. Marc and I were not the only ones having trouble watching the stage, Clara an Leo were their own little sideshow!

It was around 9:30 when we left the festival, we took the bus up Saint Laurent and as one would expect, it was full. Clara started to whine about not being able to sit down and then a very sweet, kind woman offered to let Clara sit on her lap! Clara then proceeded to chat off this kind stranger's ear the entire ride home!

Now, this is where the story gets really good... we got home at about 10pm, kids brushed their teeth and got into their PJs and then spent the next 2 HOURS in their room playing an involved game with half the toys they own!!! Granted, they had both napped for 2 hours in the late afternoon but, wow they were just on a roll. For kicks Marc and I decided to just leave them be. We were really curious how it would all play out. At 12:15am I was too tired to stay awake any longer and announced I was going to bed. Clara looked up at me, stretched and said, "yeah I'm tired too" and climbed up to her bunk. Leo did not react so well, he needs a more gentle transition from one thing to the next so obviously he cried at the immediate shutdown of their game. But after a minute of freaking out and Clara asking him "Could you please try to be a big boy?", I tucked him in and didn't hear another peep from anyone :)

You'd think I was crazy to back to the Jazz Fest the very next day right? Well, I'd sorta, kinda made a promise that we'd go check out the kids section today (this was at 9pm last night mind you) so yup, off we went again this morning. Clara and Leo did not disappoint, they played hard in the bouncy castle, the slides, the giant piano, and made noise with the goofy instruments provided. The kids area is really well organized, there was loads of staff on hand to keep everything running smoothly and safely. I've got to write a letter or something to the organizers to commend them on a job well done.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Leo was unwavering in his desire to sleep with the Minnie Mouse ears this evening. I don't know why it was so important to him, but my job is not to question what goes through his bizarre two-year old brain, it is just to accept his eccentricities and adjust said ears when they started to slip off his head :)
9pm - Sleeping Minnie/Leo
We dressed up today. Clara wore my wedding gown for the first time. She asked if I might lend it to her when she is a grown up, I said I'd give it to her. Her eyes lit up "oh thank you mama, I'll love it." As always, Leo dressed up as a puppy, I think his name was Fluffer. That dog costume I made was worth every late night at the sewing machine two years ago.
Yesterday Karen reminded me how funny Clara's vocabulary is sometimes. She uses phrases like "I'm gasping", "I'm going to plunge", "Leo is freaking out" all the time. I'd forgotten that this may not be normal preschooler vocabulary because it has become the norm around here. Of course, with the expressive vocabulary comes some more colourful words that I don't find quite as funny. She's been caught swearing a few times - I know where she picked it up (guilty parents) but we're not entirely sure how to deal with this new found expression of anger and frustration. To be honest, I'm hoping it will just disappear like many of her past mots du jour.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

What we've been up to since going camping:
  • Clara had her first sleep over at Chloe's house. A complete success.
  • Leo and Clara went to Sunday School with Chloe and Zaco. Leo went in his pjs... its a long story!
  • Bought a wading pool and have been having lots of water fun in the backyard.
  • First family visit to La Ronde, Oh.My.Goodness did we ever have FUN! Leo's squeals of delight on the kiddie rollercoaster were awesome.
  • Went swimming at the Downtown Y where they have a kids depth saltwater pool full of a great toys to play with. Clara was diving and swimming like a fish, Leo even loosened his grip around my neck and eventually had fun :)
  • Clara started working with Emmanuelle once a week to practice speaking in French. She has a big vocabulary of single words and understands just about everything but she's resistant to speaking in sentences. Hopefully with Emmanuelle's help Clara will be a bit more confident speaking in French when she starts school.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Park Voyageur - our first ever family camping trip! Check out The Little Blue Door for some details and more pictures of our adventures.
Leo and Papa roasting a hot dog. It had been a long day for buddy-boy!

Enjoying their s'mores

What a good lookin' family on the beach :)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Clara went to Ecole Arc En Ciel this morning. She got to spend two hours getting to know her new school, its students, teachers, and most importantly the atmosphere of her new digs. After a slightly clingy 5 minute socializing session in the playground Clara's name was called and she joined her new classmates for a tour. Two hours later I picked up a smiling big girl. She'd been paired up with a little girl in grade two. They'd drawn a picture together, written their names, and apparently Clara thoroughly checked out what she was wearing (an orange T-shirt with no picture on it, red crocs, red dangly star earrings).

I have to be honest, I'm completely relieved everything went so well. I was feeling so anxious and scared for Clara it was ridiculous. After work this evening, while I detailed to Marc my entire account of the Arc En Ciel visit, we realized what they did right. The parent volunteer didn't just try to get all the children to follow her into the school; I know Clara would have clung to me and refused to take one step away from me in that situation. She called all the children to her one at a time. Clara didn't get overwhelmed by a large group of kids she didn't know, she just took it as in invitation and it worked beautifully. I really think that one simple step made all the difference for her. Well, that and the little girl standing right beside us was speaking English to her mother, I know that put Clara's mind at ease a little as well. Anyway, overall it was an excellent introduction to school, I'm thrilled.

Did I mention that Leo was begging to stay at school as well? We ended up at the park which turned out to be a reasonable consolation for missing out on something exciting. I think the afternoon spent with Papa T also softened the blow a touch :)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Here is a pic for poor, tired Auntie Ann Marie. She tells me she'll be working a15 hour shift tomorrow starting at 2am!

Leo all tucked in at 3:30pm after putting himself to bed for a nap! Seriously, he did!