Saturday, May 24, 2008

Clara said she felt really grown up today. In fact she also said that today was one of the best days ever. She counted all the things that she did that made her feel like a grown up;
  1. Went into the changing room before and after swimming lessons without a grown up. Marc and Leo accompanied her to swimming this morning as I was going to a tea tasting with friends.
  2. Hugged Leo when his scrape was hurting him and got out a band aid for him.
  3. Went bicycling and practiced gliding.
  4. Took an afternoon nap (we had to convince her weekend napping is something grown ups love)
  5. Went out to eat at a nice restaurant and ordered for herself in French.

Clara is really craving more independence these days. She comments on every kid she sees walking or biking without an adult. She imagines what they might be doing; going to visit a friend, going to the store, etc. We are tying to find ways to allow her to increase her independence while maintaining her security and our peace of mind. Some of the things that we've been doing more often is giving Clara the house keys and letting her open the door when we get home, giving her a good head start when we're walking to/from school or the pool (two routes she knows well), giving her money to pay for things at stores, etc. So far these little things mean a lot to Clara but I can see she's always waiting for the next "grown up thing" she can do. In fact, during dinner last night Clara asked Marc and I what time we liked best, being a kid or being a grown up. She has a hard time believing adulthood is not the best possible time in one's life. Oh, she has so much to learn!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Clara came up with this recipe idea all by herself this evening and then went ahead and made it for Leo and I. As she was chopping the strawberries Clara maintained a constant monologue. She often mentioned that she wasn't a super chef like mommy and berated herself for chopping slowly. She never got frustrated or mad but she certainly wanted to make it clear that she'd been slow and would probably get faster with practice. Leo sat by her side for the entire prep time encouraging her with a hungry look in his eyes.

After my little chef had cleared the table she asked for help to write down her homemade desert. She dictated the recipe and I wrote a rough draft for her to copy. This is her final version of Strawberries and Sauce. She mentioned wanting to type it on the computer as well tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mothers day loot from my sweet, sweet girl.

My daughter is a perfectionist. She likes to do things the right way. That is why this Mother's day gift is so very special to me. The story is she broke down and cried in the classroom the week before Mother's Day. She was working on making a lovely bouquet of three paper flowers from a cutout of her hand. Something about the curling of the petals wasn't going right and I guess she crumpled under the pressure. Julie, her teacher was caught off guard by the tears but it apparently all got settled pretty quickly. Since the flowers were a gift, Clara really wanted to keep them a surprise so she only told me in the vaguest terms what had happened. Julie gave me a bit more insight without giving away the big secret.

On Sunday morning Clara could not contain her secret a second longer. She bounced in my room at 7am and told me she'd prepared my breakfast and all I had to do was add the milk (she'd poured me cereal), I asked if I could sleep a little longer and she agreed that since it was Mother's Day that I should get that gift as well. I guess sleeping in means 7:25am because that was the time on the clock the second time my sweetheart bounded in to see me. She begged to give her gift so I rubbed my squinty eyes and agreed. I was unprepared for her to break out into song!!! She sang me a cute little song in French that ended with her presenting the bouquet of flowers and a card. She said she'd been practicing the song in her head all weekend so that she'd remember the words. Her performance was perfect and it woke me right up. In the end 7:25 was a great time to wake up :)

The rest of Mothers day was perfect, the kids and I played outside in the morning and in the afternoon Marie-Clothilde came over to babysit while Marc and I had lunch and did a little shopping at MEC where I got some new running gear and a raincoat I actually like - Yay for babysitters on Mother's Day!

Monday, May 12, 2008

It was a bitter-sweet day for me. It was my last day attending the 1-3 year old activity at the Carrefour des Petites Soleils. I've been spending one morning a week with one or both of my children there for 4 years. This activity has been a major part of my parenting experience. I've spent some truly magical moments with both Clara and Leo in this space, I've made wonderful friends, and have become more deeply implicated in the Carrefour community. Of course, our family's time is not over at the Carrefour, Leo will be attending the preschool activity next year but, for the first time I will not have an activity to attend. There will be no more time spent with other mothers doing crafts, playing games, and singing songs with our kids while trying to have a conversation through a hundred interruptions.

I'll get over myself - eventually. I mean, I really do have to accept my children are growing up and moving on at some point right?

Hugging "le cheval"

Tout les Legumes
I grabbed the camera just in time to catch my favorite move!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What is that spot in the distance? It is Clara B. on TWO wheels! She loves bicycling, and does great on wide sidewalks with few pedestrians so we've been planning routes accordingly. The school yard was the ideal spot to perfect her new skill.

I snatched up one of the Carrefour's old trampolines at the Spring Bazar a few days ago. It has been a hit, no one can walk by without jumping a bit. Both Clara and Leo especially love watching themselves jump in the reflection from our shiny cupboard doors. They have some pretty impressive moves :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Leo gave us a run for our money today. Some of his antics were funny, some were frustrating, and some were downright maddening!

-Clara caught Leo eating something close to dinnertime, she demanded to know what it was.
Leo: its dinner (with a mischievous grin)
Clara: no, we haven't had dinner yet, are you eating a collation?
Leo: no, its dinner (with a glint in his eye)
Clara: WHAT IS LEO EATING MAMA, I Want some too!!!!

-While I was preparing real dinner Leo comes over and asks sweet as pie "What is for desert?" as if he's already eaten dinner. This is how one antagonizes big sisters, bring up old wounds at every opportunity.

-As of late, Leo likes waiting until the last gosh-darned (the nicest way I can put it here) minute to run to the toilet when he has to go. As a result, he's been getting wet pants more often than ever before. The worst part is it is painfully obvious to EVERYONE the the boy needs to pee but, when anyone dares bring it up Leo is in full-denial! Oh, this pushes my buttons. So, today after his SECOND clean pair of underwear I laid out the new way things are gonna work around here. If he pees in his pants again he'll have to wear a diaper because I'm tired of washing pee pee laundry. I also have the right to send him to the bathroom for the rest of the weekend and if he refuses or even argues there will be an immediate consequence. It seems that the hard core attitude has already worked. This evening Leo commented to Marc (after he'd used the facilities) I really don't wanna wear diapers again! YES, score one for mommy!

The latest hairstyle. Leo is sportin' a mohawk these days. He wanted to get a haircut like a hockey player

Friday, May 09, 2008

Clara's class went to visit the local senior's residence today. She told me she was going to visit les persons sagé which could translate to the wise people. What she meant was les persons agés but I must say the first way of describing them is far sweeter.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Cheering during what was to be the last game of the season

One last Habs photo for this season. This was taken after our sushi dinner and before the Fliers ended Montreal's playoff hockey mania.

Game 5 was hard to watch, we were feeling the pressure. Clara stayed up for the whole game and was upset that the Habs pulled the goalie for the last minute of play and she was positively indignant when they Fliers scored on the empty net!

Anyway, we had lots of fun with hockey this year. I have to admit, I kind of hope the Canadians make it to the playoffs again next year so we can do it all over again.