Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Now our condo has a third bedroom. And the best part is, Clara and Leo built it all by themselves!
Thanks Malcolm, Uncle Ashley and Auntie Patricia!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas schedule 2009
December 19th Holiday Party at our house
December 20th Church holiday spectacular
December 23th Afternoon in Dorval playing with 2nd cousins.
December 23/24th Clara at friend's Birthday party
December 25th afternoon and evening at Max's house
December 26th Christmas with PapaT, Cathy and the fam.
December 27th drive to Ottawa to visit with Malcolm.
December 28th meet Cousin It, drive back to Montreal, dinner party at friend's.
December 29th Christmas meal with Grand-maman Diane and fam.
Whew, more to come...

Monday, December 28, 2009

The cousins, minus little Cousin It ;)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Pyjamas...
T'was the night before Christmas...

Christmas Morning just before diving in.

The aftermath!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from the Gagnon family!

We didn't get around to sending Christmas cards this year, so instead we decided to make a holiday video!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

We just watched Goonies. Yes, the Steven Spielberg movie made in 1985. Marc saw it at the library on Sunday and HAD to have it. Poor Leo, he almost didn't make it through the whole thing - too much excitement, too many scary parts, and some scary imagery had him under a blanket, hopping around on my lap, and hiding behind the living room chair. Of course, each time I offered to go with him to his bedroom to read or play, he brushed me off and kept his eyes firmly stuck on the screen. At the end of the movie he was so relieved, we could see it all over his face. He says he liked the movie and he certainly really did enjoy some of the comedic parts but he quickly proclaimed that he doesn't want to see it ever again!

Last night's movie was my pick - Home Alone. That one also had a few scenes that had Leo under the blanket but not nearly as many as tonight's cinematic offering. The slapstick physical comedy was right on target for our family. We were laughing out loud, cheering, and sometimes even groaning when the robbers were dealing with the wrath of Macaulay Culkin.

Tomorrow night Clara will be at a sleepover so I don't know what movie we'll watch then. There is a very good possibility that Leo will try to convince Marc to play a Star Wars video game instead of another movie or, he'll suggest one of the Star Wars films. It is not like he's seen those a dozen times already!

Monday, December 21, 2009

We've come out on the other side of our first crazy weekend of Christmas break! It has been a busy 48 hours full of good times with friends and family. Our holiday party was wonderful as always. I love seeing so many friends all in one place and at one time. Of course, it got pretty intense for a while but that is to be expected with a whack of big kids hopped up on sugar!

Clara and Leo were so helpful with party planning this year. I can really measure time passing by this annual event, they change so much in the space of 12 months.

Yesterday we walked away from the-disaster-that-is-our-house and went to a multi-generational service at church. Clara and Leo took part by singing Here We Come a Wasailing and Little Drummer Boy. The four of us stood to act out 2 turtle doves in a very fun rendition of Twelve Days of Christmas. After the service we stuck around for a community lunch that was delicious (made even more delicious by the fact that I didn't have to make it). We were home just in time for a nice nap and then it was off again to Papa T and Cathy's for a meal and a Christmas concert at Papa T's new church.

Busy days I tell ya!

Clara learned the value of a nap this weekend as she very reluctantly fell asleep on Sunday afternoon. Leo ended up just playing quietly during the rest period so he was out for the count by 9pm. However, the well rested lady of the house was then able to stay up late to hang out with her parents, which seems to be something you desire when you are 7 :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas VACATION!!!!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wow, how can it only be 1pm??? I'm exhausted. Today is particularly cold so I decided for the sake of our extremities to take Leo to school on the sled this morning. It was the right decision - the wind chill is brutal. Once i got home the plan was to take the car to the garage to get the winter tires installed (finally), pick up money for Ashley's kijiji purchase, then come home and wait for the delivery while finishing up the kid's teacher's gifts.

Things did not go exactly as I'd anticipated when I couldn't even get the car OUT of the darned garage! I spent some time chipping away at the ice and packed snow and tried again - still burning rubber and me not on the street. One of the old guys from across the street opened his window yelled that I'd get out if I gunned it up the hill. I just couldn't do it - I'm new at all this. By now it was time to go to the bank so I headed off. I got home just in time to receive Ashley's new bike and a call about another delivery (Santa visited a bit early) so I had to wait around for awhile before attempting the car extraction again.

When I finally made it outside again and was preparing myself for attempt number three, the garage door opened and a nice friendly neighbor pulled in. I decided to hop out and ask for help. I'm so glad I did. He drove my car out (spinning wheels and all) and I thanked him profusely trying not to look like a complete goof in the process. So now, I just have to get the teacher gifts done and the million other things I'd hoped to get accomplished today. Tonight is Clara's school holiday spectacle and community dinner. It should be lots of fun. Pictures to come (I hope).

Wish me luck!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday baking has officially begun! Thanks to Jayne and Karen, three baked goods have been checked off my list for the Christmas Party here on Saturday. Now I've got to keep up the momentum. Usually I try to bake a batch of something every day, we'll see how that goes, this week is getting busier and busier.

Tomorrow is Leo's MRI. It is his last follow up test after the seizure he had in August. I don't expect anything to show up that will cause us concern; I really trust the neurologist when he says this test will provide one last assurance that Leo is fine. The challenge will be fasting until the 11:15 appointment time. I hope he sleeps in past Clara's breakfast time, that will make things much easier I think.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wow, what a busy weekend. Church today for the kids and I then Clara had a play date with Ruby while Leo went to a birthday party - another all girl birthday party. I'm not sure how he's racking in all these invites but this is not the first time Leo has been the only boy at a little girl's party. The birthday girl's Mom told Marc how important it was to her daughter that Leo be invited. I guess Leo's experience having a big sister is paying off for him already, he obviously knows how to befriend little ladies!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Its been an extremely busy 24 hours... so much so that all I can muster is a little quote from Leo this evening while we were decorating the tree:

"This is lots of work. We're like the elves that work with Santa!"

The Arc en Ciel bazar was a great success today and last nights bookclub was such a lovely, relaxed evening with friends. Mike babysat all 4 kids at our house so that I could attend. The deal was PS3 and chocolate chip cookies in exchange for kid duty!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Olympic torch relay went up Saint Laurent Blvd this evening. Marc suggested we go see it. As he put it, it is one of those things that you only get to see a few times in your life - we both remember standing outside in McMasterville in 1988 watching the torch pass by our high school.

So, off we went with a thermos of hot chocolate and two cups. It was cold and the wait seemed kinda long when Leo was asking every 30 seconds if it was going to be here soon. But, after about 30 police cars with lights flashing we saw a spot of fire moving up the street. Apparently it was a Quebecois comedian that was carrying the torch when it went by our little spot on the street, of course his name didn't mean a thing to me and I'm afraid I've already forgotten it.

waiting with hot chocolate

waiting while being distracted by hot chocolate

The flame!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Snow, snow, snow!!! It is here and it makes me happy - for a few hours anyway.

Watching the flakes fall while tucked away at home hanging out with Leo was perfect. We put together a puzzle, did some colouring, made a crock pot dinner (Leo thought the raw beef was dégueulasse but he smiled the whole time he was holding it), and baked chocolate chip cranberry cookies. When it was time to go meet Clara after school we were excited to get bundled up in our full snow gear.

The walk was slow and I had to tug the boy along but once Clara was safely picked up we were all able to amble home slowly. Clara collected little icicles and Leo cleaned off the sides of parked cars.

When we finally made it home I reached out the shovels and we got to work clearing our front stairs as well as part of the driveway and several of our neighbors' entrances as well. Clara was determined to clear our downstairs' neighbor's entry way which is no small feat since it requires throwing snow out of their sunken terrace! Of course, my determined girl did it all on her own with not a bit of help from me - that stubborn streak certainly has its advantages. Sometimes Clara reminds me of a certain middle sister when she gets that determined look on her face ;)

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Today has been a good day.
  1. I strung my brand new, and oh-so-cool solar powered Christmas lights on the front stairs.
  2. I got the grocery shopping done so I won't have to run to the store during tomorrows predicted snowstorm
  3. I hung out with Ann Marie and borrowed clothes from her.
  4. I had a HUGE bowl of seafood noodle soup for lunch.
  5. We skipped homework and left the tv OFF in favour of making paper snowflakes this afternoon.
  6. The oh-so-cool solar powered lights WORKED. We have a very festive stairway.
  7. I did not take the bait and rise to the attitude of my 7-year old. Remaining calm really does work!!
  8. Said 7 year-old was really very pleasant to be around once we'd established that we are friends and not enemies.
  9. I think I've secured some winter tires for the new car!

Monday, December 07, 2009

We watched the season finale of The Amazing Race this evening. It is just about the only "grown up" tv show the kids watch. The stress of the last leg of the race just about killed Clara and Leo, they were so excited and the team in the lead kept switching. Leo was literally rocking and bouncing on the couch beside Marc. At one point Marc suggested Leo try to stay still. Leo's reply: "but I need to pee!!!" Silly boy, we were watching pre-recorded TV, we could have hit pause 20 minutes earlier and saved him some significant discomfort.

Now that our family TV show is over, we'll be able to catch a few Christmas movies and shows on TV. I haven't looked at the schedule yet, I hope I haven't missed all the good ones already. What movies and specials will you be watching this holiday season?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

I braved the crowds downtown today. I won't be doing that again this year. I looked at everything I needed to see and bought a few things. Everything else I need to buy for the holidays will either be purchased through a click of my mouse or locally in the neighborhood.

Clara and Leo spent the afternoon at home with Marc playing video games and building with Lego. In fact, they all had Lego shooting devices in hand when I got home. Apparently they'd been inspired by the story in the news about a dude who had a Lego gun at work. As the story goes, dude was showing his geeky purchase of a Lego gun to some coworkers when someone saw through the window what looked like a REAL, and very frightening weapon. They did what any concerned citizen would do (I hope) and called the police. Next thing he knew, the SWAT team burst into dude's office and handcuffed him. It was quickly sorted out and verified that the gun was indeed made of Lego.

Marc and the kids were curious to see how realistic their creations could be.... hence, all the brightly coloured shooters upon my return.

Friday, December 04, 2009

I made both kids new rice bags to heat up and take to bed with them. Clara's has a bit of lavender in it which she loves. Leo's has no scent added but that doesn't stop him from shoving it to his nose, breathing in deeply and saying "mmm rice pudding!"

Thursday, December 03, 2009

As usual, Leo took his sweet time walking to school this morning, but he looked so darned cute in his rain-suit and froggy umbrella that I couldn't have cared less. We puddle jumped and sang The Ants Go Marching as loud as we could while trying to drown out the sounds of the pouring rain. In the end we got to school half an hour late. Oh well, it seems you can get away with stuff like that when you are in pre-maternelle!

After school Leo and I built a Christmas tree, a Santa, two elves, and a sleigh out of duplo. Clara was playing at a friend's house so the boy and I were able to really get down to the business of building with no interruptions. We don't get very many opportunities to play alone together anymore it really was a special treat.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

he kids started working on a little project for the the Arc-en-Ciel bazar this evening. They made holiday cards with nothing but pads of coloured ink, their thumbs and a fine tip pen. Last year we did the same project for our own holiday cards but unfortunately our card list was longer than our energy. That means if you got a cute fingerprint art card from us last year consider yourself lucky. To everyone else, sorry :( This year, I figured it would be more fun to make them without the pressure of a mailing deadline. Wanna see a couple?
Two of Clara's creations

In other news, we are now owners of an automatic car. I know, I know, most people would say this is a downgrade from the old manual transmition but I'm thrilled!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

And so it begins... the countdown to Christmas is upon us. I've been so caught up in living our daily life that a whole month has gone by with not a note written nor a memory jotted down. I've decided to challenge myself this advent and write one new blog post per day. It will be my grown-up advent calender I guess. Gearing up for the Christmas holiday is always a fun and sometimes stressful. I'd like to limit the stress and focus on that warm fuzzy feeling Christmas brings to me. This challenge will help me.

Christmas is such a magical time for Clara and Leo. Their anticipation is building and despite Clara's knowing winks and nods they are both thrilled by the thought of Santa's upcoming visit.

Last night we hung our traditional felt Christmas tree advent calender. After some negotiation it was decided that Leo would hang the first pom pom in the morning. After that decision was made I surprised them with a second advent calender - a lego adevent calender! Each day they get to open a door and find a lego bonhomme or accessory. It was a total splurge but I just know it will be such a fun surprise every day.

This morning, both kids woke up early and in bright spirits (love it - even if it means they are kinda loud and pretty of overwhelming first thing in the morning) . Neither of them thought of the calenders until after they'd eaten their cereal. I managed to convince both of them to get dressed for school and as soon as they were done I found them on their knees squeezed tight together peering at the numbers on the lego calender. Très Cute!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween 2009, also know as the year Clara dumped us to go off trick or treating with her friends! As a result, not a single picture of Clara the ballerina was captured :(
Luke Skywalker at school

Luke and a tough Cincinnati Bengal football player

Clara's cat pumpkin and Leo's Jack O'Lantern

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Clara watched Marc distribute some caramel popcorn for our viewing of Superman 2.

Clara: Hey, you are not counting them!
Marc: What???
Clara: to keep it even.
Marc: (laughing) that goes on the blog!
Clara: ok, whatever, put it on the blog... that bowl has more!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lets just recap for a moment...
  • 3 weeks ago Leo had roseola. He was off school for a week.
  • 1 week ago Leo had scarlet fever. He was off school for 3 days, it would have been 4 but Thanksgiving Monday was a vacation day - not that he got to really enjoy it :(
  • Today Leo's "cold" has turned nasty. I'm even wondering if it might be "flu" He's got a fever, a terrible, wet cough, headache, and not much energy. It could be just another random virus but the cough and sound in his chest make me wonder. I guess I'll wait to see what tomorrow brings before I decide how to deal.
Poor guy, he really just can't catch a break. Send him some strong immune system wishes - please?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This blog is usually reserved for Clara and Leo and our life as it revolves around them but I can't not post about Marc's most recent accomplishment. Last Sunday he ran his first 10km race! He's been working towards this particular race all Summer and Clara, Leo and I were so proud and excited to watch him cross the finish line with a final sprint.
With another loop of Parc Lafontine to go...

Sprinting to the finish line

Next year Clara is very serious about running the 1km or even the 2km race. Now that she's seen what a running race is all about (and the loot you bring home) she's planning on following in her Papa's footsteps. Leo, on the other hand seems pretty happy to cheer people on from the side lines. Maybe he'll feel differently in a year or two!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Leo's 5th birthday!
The Death Star cake

Leo wanted a Star Wars birthday cake, this is what I came up with!

Cupcakes at school

Dancing with his classmates

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

After 3 weeks of walking back and forth to school Leo asked to take the school bus home. We'd always discussed taking the school bus later in the year but I did not think he'd be the one to initiate the change in plan. After just one day on the bus he was sold. I haven't picked him up after school since. He tells me he likes waiting for the bus at the end of the day, apparently a teacher waits with them and they sing songs together and he likes riding with his new friend Fahim and his new girlfriend Maielie. The school bus drops him off right in front of Clara's school about 5 minutes before the final bell, the timing couldn't be more perfect. All around, the bus is a big, fat WIN!

First day taking the school bus

Friday, September 18, 2009

If you'd have asked me yesterday I would have told you we could stand to get rid of about 50% of our toys. Board games and books we use, but toys not so much. Of course, there are a few things that get played with regularly like the animals and the Star Wars figurines. Things like Clara's collection of Littlest Petshop and Polly Pockets don't see much action anymore.

Today, at 3pm on the first ped day of the school year I can report that every toy has been touched at some point over the last 6 hours. Clara and Leo have been playing non-stop all day with just about everything we own! The train set is out, the mini Barbie castle is set up, there are princess and fairy figurines carefully placed (in a Little People garage), and the Littlest Petshop animals are lined up. I can't follow the game even a little bit but it is clearly fun and imaginative and has taken them both to another place.

By all accounts school is going very well for both kids, they've settled into their new routines beautifully. However, what has become very obvious to me over the course of the day is just how wonderful it feels to stay home (wearing pyjamas in Leo's case) and loose yourself in pure, imaginative, unstructured play. I'm forever thankful that we can provide this luxury for our kids. They are thriving.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hi everyone!

I've entered a contest by a Montreal Photographer. She is offering a FREE photography session and a CD full of digital images to the family that gets the most votes. So, if you wish to see more (beautiful) pictures of Clara and Leo (and Marc and Laurel) please go and visit her blog and vote for family #2 in the comment box. It really is in your best interest!

Thanks for helping us out!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Clara brought home this picture from school today. She told me it is the bedroom she wishes to have.
Of special note:
  • There are stairs leading to the room which indicates it is on an upper level.
  • There is a loft bed with no other bed below it, bottom bunk seems to have been replaced by a desk.
  • There is a large tv screen and a pile of DVDs stacked beside it.
  • There is a small animal cage (including wheel) beside the bed.
  • There is a bookshelf, I can only assume it is filled with Théa Stilton & Winx Club books.
Yes, the begging for her own room (and a pet) has officially begun. Marc and I always knew this day would come but we are still not prepared for it. We certainly can't do anything about it right now anyway - and I'm certainly not giving up my room!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Grand-Maman Annette's 90th birthday party

Grand-maman, Laurel, Grand-Papa, Marc, Uncle Alex, Clara,
Grand-Maman Annette, and Leo.

La Rentrée Scolaire 2009!

First day of 2iem année

First day of pre-maternelle.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Purple party on Saint Laurent Blvd thanks to Kids Pop Montreal.
funky hair do

rock star stare

showing off a tongue trick

not to be outdone, this guy has tricks of his own!

pretty angel in allstars

Friday, August 07, 2009

Leo is having a sleep deprived EEG test at 8am. We were given instructions to let him sleep from 10pm-2am and them keep him awake until testing time. Clara is sleeping over at Chloé's so we've got the house to ourselves for this great adventure. Here goes...

2:08am - We are UP! Leo just needed a bit of prodding but he woke up with a smile on his face. It is a good start. Now we are eating cereal. We figure we may as well try to confuse our bodies into believing that it is morning.

2:22am - Tap Tap revenge anyone? I love my new ipod touch.

2:36am - Marc is gonna teach Leo how to play Lego Star Wars on the PS2 and then Leo tells me he's gonna teach me how to play later. He's been very excited about this since we first talked about partying all night long. I have a definite impression we'll be at this for awhile :)

4:15am - Leo is still going strong with Lego Stars, Marc and I not so much. We are tired. Yikes, Leo wants me to play now but I don't think my eyeballs will allow it. OK, now he's agreed to make banana bread with me for our second breakfast in few hours. That will get us moving around and awake a bit more. Marc has decided he needs a shower now, he's hoping the water will help him.

4:55am - Chess lesson commencing. I can't imagine it lasting too long, neither boy has much mental clarity at this point but Leo is insistent. I just offered him some lemonade (to help perk him up) but he politely declined. I think I'll pour some anyway and just set it in front of him and maybe some water too.

5:04am - That's it, I'm making coffee now.

5:35am - I didn't give them enough credit, they finished the game. It is getting light outside, we're going to head outside to see if Juancho the cat is out and to take a walk around the block. Leo is insisting in walking in his pyjamas. Oh wait, I have to stay home and keep an eye on the banana bread. It is smelling good.

5:45am - it was a short walk. The lemonade had Leo doing the pee pee dance so he came back. No Juancho so no good reason to hold it I guess either. Buddy boy is begging for more Lego Star Ward video game, but I think Marc is sick of it. Sounds like they are negotiating another game choice.

6:00am - Little Einsteins episode. There was a meltdown when Marc couldn't bear playing video games for Leo's entertainment (I'm told that the big problem is that Leo doesn't want Marc to play the games he likes). I'm watching him like a hawk, no sleep allowed!!!

6:30am - Eating yummy, warm banana bread. More little Einsteins to come, he was very alert during the whole episode.

7:15 am - heading out the door!

10:35 - We are home and EXHAUSTED. Test went fine, it didn't show any abnormalities. The specialist will review it later this afternoon but the doctor told us not to worry, everything looks great. Going to bed...

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Copy of my facebook status from last night: Laurel is getting over one of the scariest experiences ever, Leo had a seizure early this morning and we spent all day in the ER getting tests run to figure out why. We have a few guesses but no real answer yet. He's feeling fine now. I'm not.

The long explanation is; Leo had an early morning seizure right beside me, in my bed. He seized for a short time, maybe 30-45 seconds and then was unresponsive until after we'd called 911 and taken an ambulance ride to the Children's Hospital. The seizure itself was horrible; his lips were blue, his eyes rolled up and the whites of his eyes were grey but the 20-30 minutes of unresponsiveness was worse. I can't explain with words the relief I felt when he "woke up", looked straight at me and said "Mama?"

We spent about 12 hours at the hospital because the seizure was not fever induced so we had to look for other possible explanations. Leo was a champ all day long. Every nurse and technician praised him (and me) for his bravery and great attitude - he had blood tests, an EEG, a CAT scan, and an EKG. The EEG showed some slowing in the frontal lobe and it was this result that warranted the CAT scan.

After all the tests were done a neurologist came down to examine Leo and ask me a million questions. Then a second neurologist (a head honcho type) joined us and he explained what he thought was going on and said that we'd need to do a sleep deprived EEG in the next couple of weeks to try to confirm his suspicions. Leo will also be scheduled for an MRI and that should round out his use of the medical system.

The doctors think that the seizure is a symptom of a syndrome associated with migraines (BECRS). It is benign and typically is outgrown by the age of 15. The chances are high that he'll never have another seizure but if he does have more there are meds that are very effective in treating them. Overall prognosis is great, now that we've seen inside Leo's head we know there are no lesions, or tumors or other frightening possibilities. We did however confirm the size of Leo's head, the neurologist measured it and immediately commented "he has big head." He then measured my head and said, no, it is not from you. Does his father have a big head? I had to call Marc and get him to measure his own head so we could compare. Turns out Leo doesn't have a genetic good reason for the size of his noggin and this is the reason for the upcoming MRI (I think).

So, Leo is acting perfectly fine and normal now. Marc and I are still a bit gun shy. We are staying home from camping at La Minerve with everyone which is a huge disappointment. Hopefully we'll figure out a way to camp and or at least have a campfire soon since the kids are both very disappointed. I'll be waiting for phone calls next week giving me the dates for the upcoming round of testing which means I don't even know if we are going to be able to go to Toronto at all. I'm bummed. I'm glad my boy is going to be fine but I don't like being afraid and I don't like being forced to stay in town during the time I'd intended for "vacation." I'm sure I'll feel differently in another day or two, we'll figure stuff out, we always do :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The weather has not exactly been what we'd expected for July but we have not let the never ending "risk of thunder showers" dampen our Summertime fun. We've managed to do all sorts of fun activities close to home, swimming, however has been the staple of the Summer of 2009. We've made multiple trips to Piscine Laurier and Levesque and we've visited Piscine Schubert, Jean Drapeau and the Beach on isle Jean Drapeau one time each. The kids seem to spend more and more of their time underwater, either diving for treasures (Clara) or doing flips and corkscrews (Leo). We've spent time with Chloé and Zaco, Ruby, Max and John. We haven't seen any of Clara's school friends but she has not requested that I set things up so I guess spending the Summer with her family and her old friends suits her just fine :)

On Sunday Marc suggested we do an experiment à la Mythbusters. We showed the kids a Youtube video of the infamous diet coke and mentos eruption. Leo seemed pretty sure that the myth would be "busted" but Clara though it was possible. They headed off to the pharmacy to buy the necessary items and were home again in no time ready to test what they'd seen. As you can hear in Leo's voice, he was pretty impressed that it worked, Marc and I were kinda disappointed, we though the fountain of coke would be higher. It was fun and I think we'll have to pick another experiment to test soon, any suggestions?

On Saturday I finally convinced the kids to join Marc and I on a mountain walk. There was quite a bit of whining at the outset but it did dissipate with the help of trail mix and secret paths. In the end we walked for over two hours and Leo only fell twice and managed to either get stung or pricked by a trail-side plant once (I still don't know exactly what happened, I do know it hurt and caused his hand to swell briefly) . Considering how stumbly he was, his final stats are actually quite good!
Rambling on Mount Royal

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Our Farm Vacation in Vankleek Hill

Friday, June 19, 2009

The specialists at Arc-en-Ciel (that means the gym teacher, music teacher and art teacher) organized and coordinated an end of year spectacle with the students that knocked our socks off! It was Cirque de Soliel-esque with music, song, acrobatics and dancing.

As always, Clara the performer enjoyed her time in the spotlight but she did gave me permission to tell the truth about my favorite part of the show "you don't have to say my part was your favourite mama, tell me the truth okay?" To be honest, I can't even pick just one act that was my favorite; the gumboot dance was excellent, the drumming on recycling boxes was fun, the music made by tapping different lengths of plastic tubing was funny, and Clara's class playing xylophones and singing Les Chansons Comique was painfully cute. All the kids had their faces painted to be insect like creatures and they came to school dressed in mono-tone colours. Clara was a little sauterelle, a grasshopper.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why today was exciting...

Two unrelated events sure shook up our street today. First, this morning a fire alarm was tripped in our building (on of the other condos) and three fire trucks came screaming to a halt at our front door; there were firemen with axes, with extinguishers, and walkie-talkies. It was all very exciting and it made Leo and I late for our park date with Stephanie, Mathieu and Gabriel. Then in the evening, just after I'd tucked the kids in to bed I went outside to toss the garbage on the curb and I was faced with a huge chunck of tree laying across the entire street! All the neighbors were out milling around and according to them it had just snapped off the tree. Earlier in the day it had been stormy and there had been some thunder and lightening but apparently whenthe giant branch went down it was not due to particularly bad weather. As far as I could tell the only casualty was a little Mazda 5 who happened to be parked in the wrong spot on the wrong day. Bad luck for someone :(

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

No Summer move for us. Summer vacation plans here I come. Wohoo!!!! What a ride, we are feeling pretty good about the process though. Sure learned a lot.

Monday, June 15, 2009

On Saturday we decided to back out of our contract for the condo. After the inspection we found a few problems that we were unaware of when we made our offer and we felt that the price was no longer fair. After discussing it with Jim and Jayne (current ancestral home owners) we decided we'd need to do about $20,000 of work to be able to use the space as we'd originally envisiioned. We told our agent yesterday (Sunday) that we'd still be interested in the property if the seller would drop her price by that much. We expected to be turned down cold but... we still haven't heard back!!! So, still playing the waiting game. If it is meant to be ours it will happen, that is still my feeling, same as when we started this insane journey.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Condo purchase update:
Natasha has brought it to my attention that I've left you in suspense long enough. The counter-counter offer was accepted! We are on to phase two of the adventure which is to have the building inspected. Since we are talking about a 125 year old building we think it is pretty important to have it carefully looked over before we make our final decision to buy. I'm completely freaked out by the amount of work that is loming over our head if this all goes through as planned. We've got to get this place sell ready, pack up 8 years worth of stuff and move it 2 blocks away!!! Seems like an aweful lot of effort but I know it will be worth it in the end.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

We are lucky. Thanks to McGill's department of theology we have a whole new branch on our family tree. Cathy and Dad, or Papa T as he is better known on this blog, met at McGill while they were pursuing their second (or maybe third) careers. On Saturday we were invited to watch Cathy become an ordained minister of the United Church. Clara and Leo were thrilled to participate in the ceremony by leading Cathy out of the service carrying a pole with flowing ribbons. It was a glorious day and there were smiles abound :)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Here is a little slide show of the coldest, wettest family camping trip we've undertaken. At least we were in great company, 24 other families from Clara's school joined in on the insanity :) In the end, only a camp chair and Leo's new raincoat sustained permanent damage, both flew into the fire in a rare dry (but windy) moment!

Monday, June 01, 2009

No news on the condo front, they countered our offer and we've now countered their counter. It is complicated and stressful but Marc and I are remaining calm and hopeful. Clara and Leo sort of know what is going on, Leo expressed concern that we'd be leaving all of our stuff here if we move. He's much happier now knowing that he'll be sleeping in his bed no matter where we live!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

There is waayyy too much going on in our world right now to even begin to consider trying to catch up with my blog. I've got pictures of the following recent activities to share and hopefully I'll managed to get it done now that I've gone ahead and written down my intention...
  • Camping at Mont Tremblant
  • Leo's spectacle and graduation from Carrefour des Petites Soleils
  • Carrefour picnic
  • Imagine exhibit at le Musée des Beaux-Arts
Right now Chloé and Zaco are staying with us, Karen and Mike had an out of town family funeral to attend so I picked up the kids after school. They are very happy to be together (well, the girls certainly are) and other than the increased food consumption and overall volume, the weekend is pretty much playing out as any would with half the number of little boys and girls.

Oh and yeah, we made an offer on a new condo last night. The agent thought is was lots of fun making life changing decisions sitting just meters away from 4 kids who were eating pizza and watching Space Buddies.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

When Clara stumbled out of her room this morning she had a goofy grin on her face. She told me she'd dreamed that 3 small, shiney, metalic iPods had dropped into our backyard. One was green, another yellow and the last one was blue. That's weird huh mama?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

This kids got the camera...