Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Read a Christmas story before bed tonight.

Leo choose Mary Engelbreit's illustrated version of The Night Before Christmas and Clara choose Red Ranger Came Calling.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Go to Nifty Gifty this afternoon.

We did, and we are very glad we attended. Nifty Gifty is a few event at church. Kids are invited to spend the afternoon creating homemade gifts they can give over the holidays. For obvious reasons I can't go into much detail about what they made. I'll just say we came home with a bag full of goodies and had a lovely afternoon.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Say "happy birthday" to Auntie Dorothy!

We called her and left a message. I guess the birthday lady was busy celebrating.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Listen to music from the Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky.

When I turned on Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy Leo's eyes lit up and told me - I know this one, I heard it on my radio when I was going to sleep!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

This year our countdown to Christmas will not involve little chocolates, Legos or any other daily gifts. Instead we'll be focusing on family activity, giving, and gratitude. I've challenged myself to create a list of 25 messages that will be left for Clara and Leo daily on the whiteboard in the living room. So today, on the 1st of December they were greeted with the following:

Dig out the advent calender and hang a string of Christmas lights.

Simple, to the point and according to the kids, a great start to our advent season :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Leonardo the ninja turtle and Mme Witch heading out on a cold All Hallow's Eve.

Super cool neighborhood initiative - a haunted lane with lots of trick or treating opportunities and no streets to cross.

The only photo I got of Leo's shell.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Leo's 6th Birthday/Halloween Party

The birthday boy dressed up as Ang from the Last Airbender.

Mmmm...Les yeux d'hibou / owl's eyes... yummy

Dirt and worms

Leo is having the best afternoon EVER

Bobbing for apples with forks was an unexpected hit.

Happy birthday Leo.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Thanks Shanna! Clara LOVES her new shoes.
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Monday, September 27, 2010

Dear Clara and Leo,
I am so proud of you for having the confidence and the skills to walk back to school after lunch on your own today. I admit, I did secretly follow you to make sure you arrived at your destination safely but deep down I knew there was nothing to worry about. You crossed the streets holding hands carefully checking for cars, you skipped along the sidewalks staying close to each other, and you even met up with friends as you arrived at the school yard. I'm so proud of you both. Thank you for taking this responsibility so seriously. I love you so much and I can't believe how you are growing up in front of my eyes!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

For all you visual people out there, look how Marc motivated the kids to get through our family to do list this Sunday. EVERYTHING was checked off before bedtime! Way to go team !!!

The only thing that was not accomplished was the lightsaber fight Leo had added at the top right corner of the whiteboard.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wedding weekend

We spent a beautiful weekend celebrating the marriage of Gordon and Shanna in Lennoxville, QC. The wedding was at the Bishop's University chapel, Clara followed along with the service and sang all the songs. Leo on the other hand, hunkered down with my ipod and played games with the volume on mute... there are some battles that are just not worth fighting.

After the ceremony Leo and Malcolm took advantage of the large lawn in front of Saint Mark's chapel. They ran around, climbed a stone wall and used twigs as lasers. It was the perfect activity for two little boys that don't generally love staying still! Clara hung out with Farley and the adults until it was time for us all to head to the reception hall.

Afternoon turned into evening. We ate a delicious meal followed by more pies than I'd ever seen on one table then the music came on. Clara and Leo loved dancing, but each with their own strategy. Clara danced to every single song and took quick breaks only when she was either thirsty or hot. Leo waited until the dance floor opened up and then launched into his dance moves. Marc and I tried to keep up with the dancing maniacs but at around 11pm Leo sat down with Papa and ended up dozing off to dreamland using Marc as a mattress. At about 11:45 we pulled the plug on the dancing queen and told her it was time to go home. She was ready.

What a night we had. Gordon and Shanna's family and friends were bathed in a beautiful atmosphere of love. It was truly a very special day thanks to two very special people.

Husband and wife. Clara was the photographer.

The Bubble Kids! They handed out bubbles as everyone left the chapel.

The Gagnon family looking our best

The real Gagnon family!

Clara, Auntie Patricia and Farley.

Tidman girls and a Boyd boy.

What the kids were doing while the bridal party were being photographed.
I think it involved lasers.

Leo's turn with the camera. Hi Auntie Ann Marie!


Auntie Patricia

Great Balls of BUTTER!
Clara didn't realize you normally cut a dinner roll open before buttering it!

Papa and Clara dancing the night away.

No more dancing for Leo, he was d.o.n.e.

Breakfast meeting with Malcolm.
Backyardigans and froot loops in the hotel restaurant.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Look who lost his first tooth!

Leo has been waiting and waiting to loose a tooth. Ever since Clara started losing teeth 3 years ago, Leo has been talking about when it would be his turn. Well, his turn came during the first full week of school. Apparently the tooth fell out (or was wiggled free) while Leo was waiting to go outside with the service de garde at lunchtime. He didn't tell anyone that he had a precious pearly white tooth in his hands, he just went out to the yard and played. Well, as you can imagine, he didn't manage to keep hold of his teeny tiny tooth and was soon found frantically searching the yard. The head of the service d'animation happened upon my unhappy boy and he explained that he'd dropped his tooth with tears streaming down his cheeks. She told me afterward that she was really worried that it would be impossible to find such a small thing in such a big space but she put on her glasses and looked down. Wouldn't you know it, she saw the tooth right away! She said she didn't know who was more relived her or Leo. After that near disaster, the tooth was carefully placed in a little ziplock bag and presented to me along with a gap-toothed grin when I came to pick up my very proud son at the end of the day.

I keep catching Leo admiring his new smile in mirrors. He tells me it makes him feel good and more grown up. I think it enhances an already captivating grin.

Friday, August 27, 2010

First Day of School

7:50am - Successfully out the door on time!

8:00am - In the cours d'ecole waiting to find out which class she'll be in this year.

12:45pm - Finally Leo's turn to go to school for a half day.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Last day of Summer Vacation!

Today has been a day of highs and lows. Okay, what day is not but just for fun lets see how things went on the last day of the summer break...

High: Spent a lovely day at the park with our friends
Low: No one wanted to leave their friends
High: Bike ride was fun and made the kids happy
Low: I was tired and a bit cranky by the time we made it home again
High: Leo's first tooth became loose while eating corn on the cob!
Low: Leo cried HARD after I read page 3 of Babar. He was so, so, so sad that Babar's mother was killed by a hunter.
High: we put Babar away and Leo opted for the safety and comfort of Green Eggs and Ham instead
High: Clara went to bed without showing much anxiety at all about her first day of grade three. She's been worrying for a few days but tonight she seemed pretty settled.

Now everyone is tucked into bed and I have a lunch to make (a high & a low).

What a great Summer we've had.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

La Fete des Enfants on Ile Jean Drapeau was a big hit for us this year. We went one other time, several years back and were frightened off by the gigantic lineups everywhere! This year I brought the kids on Friday, it was still pretty packed but we managed to have fun despite the throngs. Leo's absolute favorite thing to do was play Katag. It is basically a game of team tag in which you touch the opposing team members with a duct tape sword! Leo "battled" for well over an hour, he absolutely loved it. Right next to the katag field was a demonstration by a cheer-leading team. Clara watched and was then encouraged to come and try a few of the moves they'd presented. She said it was pretty scary to be held so high in the air but she ran back to me with that proud flush in her cheeks that told me it wasn't too scary.



Clara on the zip line (Leo went by so fast i didn't get a picture)

Testing out a few cheer-leading moves.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

La Minerve weekend means the anniversary of Leo's seizure a year ago. This year we spent a beautiful weekend with friends enjoying the sun, sand, and water. Much better than spending a fear filled day in the ER!

One of the several frogs Clara caught.

Happy frog catcher

I think Vanessa got caught in the middle of a water fight between Leo, Olaf, and Marc.

First time playing Settlers of Catan
Day two of Laurel's day camp has started off well. The girls are playing with sticker mosaics and the boys have played Mousetrap and are now repeatedly trapping various small household objects. Not a bad start to a rainy day!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Lost Fingers played a concert at the Jazz Festival tonight. How could I not take my girl to a show I knew she'd love on her birthday?

See that smile?

Mother-daughter self portrait during the show (I was holding her on my hip!!!)

Nice night to be 8!

We were only about 10 people back from the front of the stage - it was a great show!
Happy Birthday my Clara B!

Clara celebrated her 8th birthday yesterday with 15 of her closest friends! She planned a party with games that required lots of kids; Bulldog couleur and Kick Ball. We spent about an hour playing in the school yard and then it was back home for cupcakes in the backyard.

Clara "pitching" the ball during the game of Kick Ball

Ravenous kids waiting for strawberry cupcakes

The after-party at St Hubert BBQ

Today is her real birthday. I'm not sure how we can possibly top yesterday's events. If Clara and Leo are not too tired I'd like to take them to the Lost Fingers concert at the Jazz festival tonight - I think that would be an appropriate celebration of growing another year older and another year taller!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

School is over!!! Goodbye pre-maternelle and 2ieme année, its been a great year but, man oh man is this mama happy to welcome Summer vacation. In fact, I'm probably more excited than Clara and Leo.

A huge batch of homemade granola which I divided and gave as good bye gifts to Clara and Leo's teachers.

Carnival in the cour d'école.

ball toss (notice the tongue)

Leo and his buddy Fahim

Clara doing the potato sack race. It was one of the events in the Arc-en-Ciel afternoon rally.

Proudly holding all the golden nuggets they'd collected.

Last day taking the school bus!