An end of an era: live Smashing Pumpkins recordings

I remember back in college my roommate Scott got high speed internet.  What was this marvel of technology?  Now kids, if you didn’t know about dial-up internet, I recommend going to ask your parents right now what the sound of a modem dialup tone sounds like.

I didn’t really think too much about high speed internet at the time.  I was a student, I didn’t have a lot of money so I was fine with the dialup internet that was provided to students of Algonquin College.

Until I stumbled upon the New Smashing Pumpkins Audio Archive (NSPAA).  There it was…every concert they was ever recorded.

Scott was nice enough to let me use his high speed internet connection to download thousands of MP3s of Pumpkins concerts.  It was mindblowing how much data was coming down the pipe to me.  I remember burning them to CDs since I didn’t even have enough room on my hard drive to hold them all.

Years later when high speed internet was commonplace, I went about a quest to upgrade the audio quality and get FLAC or SHN files for all the concerts they had.  People thought I was insane.  I remember a very specific comment from my cousin Shawn who said he was fine listening to a really good concert from a touring cycle, but to listen to every concert…that’s madness!

You know what?  He was right.  I mean, when did I actually go and listen to every concert?  I listened to a LOT of them, don’t get me wrong.  But when I stumbled upon really good ones, I just kept listening to those instead of the hundreds of others.

Fast forward years later and I’m moving some files around today and I notice I have a ton of Pumpkins concerts hidden in a folder on my hard drive.  I sat there looking at it and realized that there was really only one thing I needed to do.

Delete them.

We are at a point now that we have the Live Music Archive and sure enough, every Pumpkins concert (or nearly every one of them) is available to stream or download.  So…barring the nuclear apocalypse hitting us and wiping out all the Pumpkins recordings on the Internet, I freed up a ton of hard drive space.

It’s strange…hours and evenings of my life has been wiped out in a fraction of minutes.  All because the Internet has become increasingly convenient over the years.  Heck, you can now stream television shows instead of downloading them.  Mindblowing!

And so I leave this memory…listening to one of the greatest recordings of live Pumpkins history; Vancouver 1997.

2020 Pearl Jam on tour!

Just got word today that I scored tickets to see Pearl Jam in Ottawa and Quebec City!!

I have to say I’m really impressed with the way the fan club tickets went this time around.  It’s a lottery system but this time around they managed to get a LOT of tickets from Ticketmaster.  There are rumours that they may have got the entire arena for fan members and once the presale was over, the remaining tickets go to the public.

If this is the case, I agree that this is a great method to sell tickets.  If you’re diehard enough to have a fan club membership then why not get some guarantee that you get tickets before the rest of the world?

Back to the subject at hand, it’s going to be a good year!

Ezra’s fifth month

There’s been a lot of evenings with screaming.  But Vero points out that this has diminished in the past few weeks.  Perhaps we have turned the corner and all will be good in the world?

Vero was talking to me about how her and Ezra had a staring contest for ten minutes the other day and that’s when she fell completely in love with him.  She also likes how he knows how Maman doesn’t like to give kisses on the lips so he is now moving her head when she comes in for the kiss.

But he sure is a Guy Smiley these days.  He’ll smile at anything!

Sierra has been asking to sit with Ezra when she watches television before heading to bed.

He’s getting quite photogenic!

Ezra is super excited for Santa to arrive!

This is a typical sight after having a bottle.  About 15 minutes later he starts to cry sometimes.  Maybe he’s bored with me?  A typical two hour cycle with me consists of waking up, getting a bottle, hanging out for 45 minutes playing and then trying to put him down for a nap for an hour.  Generally he will last for 20 minutes, but if we’re lucky, he will sleep for an hour.  That’s the general two hour cycle during the evening.

Maybe this was the staring contest Vero was telling me about?

Ezra enjoying some Christmas films.

Guy Smiley!

Hanging out near the campfire.

Hanging out waiting for a burp

Sierra helping Ezra open up his stocking

Ezra is a chameleon!

A walk around the block on Christmas Day

Hanging out!

Ezra is quite shocked in this Christmas Day photo!

Ezra opening up a gift from Sierra

Sierra personally picked out BB-8 for Ezra as a Christmas gift.  He quite likes it!

Hanging out with Aunt Maureen

Lots of love from Grandma

Cousins

Li’l Santa and Poppa

Poppa telling Ezra about his trip from Kapuskasing

We’ll have to start teach Ezra how to wink like his sister.

Swiper the fox dropped by to swipe some lunch

Everyone showing Ezra how to play with his new toy

Dad was probably watching Frozen for the hundredth time

“Take the picture so I can get some eggnog!”

Chances are, everyone was watching Frozen.  

I love how I show up in this photo as well.

You can only imagine how many takes it took to get one good shot!

Ben, Krista and the kids came over for a winter wonderland visit.

It’s rare to see these two out of the house!  At least it’s rare to me.

While cleaning up some Christmas items Vero found a card for Ezra from Nanny Sybil

Heading out for an adventure

Ezra is staring to get the hang of the jolly jumper.  He’s quite content for 5-10 minutes and then he wants out.

Beauty day for a walk near the river!  I never get tired of this path.

 

 

How fit am I compared to the years before?

As you know, for the past few years I  have decided to change my lifestyle little by little to try and be more fit.  I’m not one for those ‘dive in and change your entire lifestyle’ diets or routines because I feel they don’t stick.  At least they don’t stick for me.

In the past year I was concerned at some back spasms I had when I was throwing Sierra up and down in the air and I have embarked on some strength training which I have failed miserably at when Ezra has taken up my time in the evenings.

But now things are looking up and he seems to not need to be held to fall asleep on the couch so maybe I will slowly get back into putting him on the couch, getting him to sleep, slithering off the couch myself and doing some exercise while rewatching The Mandalorian (best show ever).

Anyhow, this post isn’t about what I didn’t accomplish, it’s about what I have accomplished!  Let’s take a look at what Fitbit has shown me over the years.  I love stats and what better stats to look at than from the Palmer machinery.

Its always reassuring to see that I met and exceeded my goal of 10,000 steps per day.  Here is a comparison to years past:

2015: 10,599

2016: 12,284

2017: 12,289

2018: 12,215

2019: 11,381

But in the grand scheme of things you can see my trend has been falling since 2016.  Something to keep my mind on.  I still take walks at work during my breaks and at lunch but I haven’t gone on the elliptical as much in the past year as I have transitioned more to strength training and taking care of Ezra.

Active minutes may be the more interesting item to track because it tracks everything I do, not just steps.  Fitbit defines active minutes as when the activity you’re doing is more strenuous than regular walking, which includes everything from a brisk walk to a cardio workout or run.  The Centre of Disease Control recommends 20-30 minutes for adults each day.  I’m quite pleased in seeing that I have averaged 102 minutes a day.  Note that I love averages somehow hides the fact that some weekends that number sits around zero!

2015: 50

2016: 87

2017: 113

2018: 110

2019: 102

What’s interesting to see is that in 2016 I was walking an average of 12K+ steps but my active minutes were quite low.  This is when I started realizing that just taking walks wasn’t doing enough to strengthen my heart (which is my ultimate goal here).  If I go on a elliptical I need to make sure I have it set up to work my heart more and in this particular case, achieve a higher number of active minutes.

The calories burned is an interesting chart but I have to say that I don’t input my calorie intake (aka food and drink) into fitbit much these days.  So I’m not sure what I can discern from staring at the fact that I burned 3,407 calories per day on average.

2015: 2,408

2016: 3,328

2017: 3,484

2018: 3,525

2019: 3,407

Looking at the overall trend we can get some different perspective.  It looks like I was burning more and more calories over the past few years until this past year where I dipped back down.  This follows a similar trend on the number of active minutes I was achieving.  So…steps aren’t everything folks!

9km a day on average seems like a lot!  It also is the average distance walked over the past five years.  That’s interesting considering my step count has fluctuated but my distance hasn’t really changed.

My ultimate goal is to have a strong heart for the eventual day when I have a heart attack.  I’m basically building up my fortress wall to withstand any attack and with minimal damage.  Why?  Well, I’m not ready to leave this earthly plain anytime soon considering I have a few kids who needs to hear some good jokes.

From runningmagazine.com: Resting heart rate (RHR) varies from person to person but usually falls between 60 and 100 beats per minute (BPM) in most individuals. Athletes however, and particularly endurance athletes, are known to have a significantly lower RHR, usually between 30 and 50 BPM. A lower RHR represents greater (and more efficient) overall cardiovascular fitness. This means that the heart needs to contract fewer times to deliver sufficient volumes of blood to the body.

2015: 62 bpm

2016: 57 bpm

2017: 58 bpm

2018: 58 bpm

2018: 58 bpm

So I guess I’m not an athlete but I’m also below what the resting heart rate generally falls at.  I guess I’m happy with that!  I’m not entirely sure how much of this is due to my exercise vs. my genetics but I’ll take whatever life serves me.

This is a snapshot of what my cardio fitness is TODAY.  Good to very good…I guess I should strive for very good?

The ultimate goal is to have a strong heart but a good secondary bonus is always to have a lower weight on the weight scale.  The weight chart actually tracks my weight since the beginning so it’s interesting to see how everything was looking.

Here’s a photo in the summer of 2015.

August 2016

July 2017

August 2018

August 2019

It’s interesting to see how I look over the progression of weight loss and gain.  The cheeks and beergut definitely are the target areas for weight gain on the Palmer!  Not a big deal though.  Did you see the other charts in this entire post?  It’s what is inside that counts and it looks like I’m a fine specimen of a human being.

I really enjoyed seeing how the Fitbit has tracked my fitness over the past five years.  It’s an interesting snapshot of of life spanning from 36 to 41 years.  Here’s to many more!

Instant pot: turkey chili

This recipe is a complete cheat considering I put in a jar of vegetarian chili from “recipes in a jar”.  This isn’t a meal from scratch!

That being said, here’s the recipe for the next time I have a jar handy.

one jar of vegetarian chili

one large can of diced tomatoes

3 3/4 cups of water

2 cups of diced turkey we had leftover from Christmas.

I set the manual high for 22 minutes but the next time I will do it for 30 minutes,  the issue is that there are dry beans in the jar which take a lot of time to cook.  It was t horrible but if you’re used to the texture of a kidney or black bean the timer will need to go longer.

let cool down for 15 minutes and then vent.

 

here’s the ingredients in case I don’t have the jar next time and I want to try and make it from scratch.

Good start of the year

I know the year is going to be a good one when after I set up Sierra with a bowl of oatmeal and Dora the Explorer she comes running into the office saying “I want to give you a hug because I love you!”

This got me thinking that all the things I do for her are finally starting to click inside her brain and all this effort I put into parenting is finally paying off!

 

Then she realizes she wanted Cheerios instead of oatmeal and proceeds to have a meltdown.

 

Favourite albums of the past decade

Hey look, it’s New Year’s Eve and I managed to get a few minutes reprieve to put some thought into my favourite albums from the past decade.  An entire decade!

iTunes shows I have 8,004 songs from the past decade.  Let’s dig in!  I’m not counting reissues but the Beatles had an incredible reissue campaign in the past decade.

Alice in Chains – Rainier Fog 2018

Arcade Fire – Reflektor 2014

Bad Uncle – The Surgeon’s Lament 2013

Big Wreck – Ghosts 2014

Billy Talent – Afraid of Heights 2016

Black Ribbons – Neuromancer 2012

Manchester Orchestra – A Black Mile to the Surface 2017

Boxer Rebellion – The Cold Still 2011

Broken Social Scene – Hug of Thunder 2017

Cannons – Open Letter 2013

Collective Soul – Live 2017

Dan Mangan – Nice, Nice, Very Nice 2010

Dear Rouge – Black to Gold – 2015

The Dears Acoustic: 2001-2005 (2016)

The Dears – Times Infinity Volume Two 2017

The Devin Cuddy Band – Volune One 2012

Fontarabie – Fontarabie 2014

Glen Hansard – Between Two Shores 2018

Gord Downie and the Country of Miracles – The Grand Bounce 2010

How To Destroy Angels – Welcome Oblivion

July Talk – July Talk 2013

Kathleen Edwards – Voyageur 2012

Les Cowboys Fringants – Octobre 2015

LIVE – Woodstock ’94 2019

Loon Choir – All of This and Everything Else 2015

The Lumineers – The Lumineers 2013

Matt Mays – Coyote 2012

Megadeth – Dystopia 2016

Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct 2016

Metric – Art of Doubt 2018

Murray Lightburn – Mass:Light 2013

Muse – The 2nd Law 2012

My Chemical Romance – Danger Days 2010

The National – Sleep Well Beast 2017

Nine Inch Nails – Add Violence, Bad Witch, Not The Actual Events 2017

Patrick Watson – Adventures In Your Own Backyard 2012

Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt 2013

Postdata – Let’s Be Wilderness 2018

Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool 2016

The Reverb Syndicate – Odyssey 2015

Rob Zombie – Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor 2013

Roger Waters – Is This The Life We Really Want? 2017

Royal Canoe – Today We’re Believers 2013

Sam Roberts Band – Collider 2011

Silversun Pickups – Widow’s Weeds 2019

Skye Wallace – Skye Wallace 2019 (this one is tricky…I literally got this album a month ago so I don’t know if it has the staying power to be the best of a decade.  But it’s definitely the best of 2019 and it’s still going strong into 2020!)

The Smashing Pumpkins – Oceania 2012

Sound of Lions – 11:44 2011

Spencer Burton – Don’t Let the World See Your Love 2014

St. Vincent – MASSEDUCTION 2017

Tame Impala – Currents 2015

Taylor Swift – 1989 (2014)

The Tea Party – Live from Australia 2012

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – The Brutalist Bricks 2010

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – The Social Network soundtrack 2010

The Trews – …Thank You and I’m Sorry 2012

U2 – Songs of Experience 2017

The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding 2017

The Weeknd – House of Balloons

Whale Tooth – Search Party 2012

William Patrick Corgan – Ogilala 2017

Wintersleep – The Great Detachment 2016, In The Land Of 2019

It’s really interesting going down the rabbit hole of memories of all these great albums that have impacted me.

And for the greatest disappointment of the past decade…30 Seconds to Mars.  You were destined to take the top spot from Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam.  Then you produced crap for an entire decade.

Happy new year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sierra’s 43rd Month

I’ve run a little late with this entry considering I’m writing this on January 16, 2020 and there’s a whole lot of snow on the ground.  It’s strange to see that we were outside at the park like this six weeks ago!  I do remember getting worried about the lack of snow for Christmas.

December was a fun month with Sierra.  She is grasping the concepts of giving gifts, opening gifts, asking for items from Santa.  Her attention span definitely wanes though.  The evidence of this is her advent calendar which still isn’t completely opened yet!

For the second year in a row, we wanted to try and open up gifts for a series of days instead of opening them all in one morning.  The way we see it is that we are stuck inside for the Christmas break, why not have something special to look forward to each day?  Sierra was definitely blowing through a few gifts on Christmas morning until she stopped at the greatest gift ever…a fishing game.  We stopped everything and played that game.  We also played it the next day.  And the next.  Every time we asked if she wanted to open up some gifts, she said “No, I want to play the fishing game!”  It warms our hearts to see that she actually enjoys playing with the gifts she receives instead of blowing through them and leaving them in a pile on Christmas morning.

Before I forget to mention, this past month (or past season…it’s been so long!) has been the time where Sierra isn’t the nicest person in the world.  She constantly says no to us at every turn.  “Let’s brush your teeth.”  Non.  “Let’s get you dressed.”  Non.  “Let’s leave daycare so you can go home.” Non.  Argh!  It is very frustrating right now.  We are trying to give her a reward system like “Hey, if you get dressed to go to daycare you can watch television tonight.” but it doesn’t seem to phase her.  When we point out that she can’t get something special, she just says “It’s ok.” like she’s consoling us!  Hopefully this phase will pass soon enough because it’s getting too frustrating in the morning when I’m trying to have her speak quietly so she doesn’t wake Ezra but at the same time she’s saying no to everything!

Onto some photos!

Typically on a weekend I try and get away with both kids to give Maman a break.  This must have been the day where Ezra was still sleeping in so I decided to hit the road with Sierra.  First stop…breakfast!

We were pretty lucky to see Santa Claus while we were out at the grocery store!!

Sierra is starting to not like her picture being taken.

Etienne and I made a photo book of ourselves for the Christmas gift exchange at work.  We were pretty disheartened when we found out at the last minute that there was NOT going to be any exchange this year!  Luckily Kelly didn’t get the memo either so we did an exchange between ourselves.  She was over the moon with this gift and proceeded to bring it to every meeting she could in the proceeding weeks.

Sierra’s first advent calendar!  Note for next year: get the cheap ones where the chocolates have a different design to them.  This kinder one was the same exact chocolate each day.

Preparing for her first job.

As parents with two kids, you sometimes have to split up when it comes to activities.  Vero headed downtown with Trish to see Damien Robitaille at the opening ceremony for the Christmas lights in Ottawa.  Jealous that they got to meet him on their way into the event!  By the way, if you don’t have his new Christmas album, go get it now.  It’s great!

Sierra showing me how the ratio of icing to cookie should be at least 50/50.

Sierra and I went to David’s Tea to pick up a gift for Maman and they treated her to some decaffeinated tea.  Yum!

Bahaha!

Helping put up the Christmas decorations.  Stan Lee’s Santa hat came out for the event!

I got a calendar notification reminding me to infiltrate the girls’ Christmas party with a gift of my own.  I sent a long a photo book of my life.  Vero thought it was hilarious and supposedly there were a few people fighting over the item! 

Holly won it in the end and she tells me that her kids look at pictures of Uncle Ryan each night.

This is probably the photo they like to look at.

Tis the season to make sausage dip!

Sierra insisted that our tree had a star on top this year so we went out and picked one up.

The best part of Vars is their annual Christmas celebration!  Someone tried to get me to play tunes for the kids but I wasn’t prepared in time.  Luckily they got the guy who had been doing it for years and he knows how to get the kids entertained!

Sierra and her friend were more focussed on crawling on the floor than singing and dancing!

Ho Ho Ho!

I had a homework assignment for the month of December.  I was going to play some Christmas tunes for the daycare along with our friend Vero.  There has never been a French translation of Frosty the Snowman   …until now!  The daycare had this book and I copied the words down and figured out how to play it in French.

Clearly they had fun at daycare today!

I’m not sure if I have already posted this but this is this year’s school photo.  I put in another two minutes of effort on her hair that morning.  Usually it’s a rat’s nest.

For YEARS I have gone to the department’s Christmas party and they only had tea or coffee on hand.  Finally, they have smarted up and offered up some hot chocolate as well!

Ah, the work Christmas party.  Always a fun time.  We now reserve Le Troquet for our festivities and rightly so!  We spend most of our time there during the year anyhow!

For the past two years, Nanny Ruth’s Christmas sweater (I’m wearing it in this photo) has one the Branch’s Christmas sweater prize!  We were going to go for a third year in a row which I mistakenly thought was four years in a row.  So you will see that everyone’s t-shirt says FOUR FOR FOUR accidentally.  I never told them the truth and if they are reading this now…sorry?  My team loves Nanny Ruth’s sweater so much that they rallied behind the cause of winning another year in a row and we got some t-shirts made for the event.  Unfortunately, we were completely shut out of winning this year…we didn’t even make it into the Top 3!  I think that’s a little unfair, but whatever.  At the end of the day, there’s no tears shed over losing a sweater competition.  It is Christmas after all!  Nanny, if you are reading this, I hope you enjoy seeing how much joy you bring to my colleagues!  Special thanks to the great group I work with and the fun times that were brought to the Branch Christmas party even though most of you were severely hungover from the previous night’s party.

Now that Christmas has passed I can start posting photos of a project I was working on.  I was going to attempt to make a cribbage board for my parents as well as another one for Vero’s dad.  I got these biscuits from Emile at work who had taken down a few trees on his property.  I let them dry over a month’s time on the heater at work.  I had purchased a router to do the middle portion but after speaking to Dad I realized that the router needed bits and other things that I wasn’t prepared to purchase so I returned it and worked at carving out the middle portion for the cards.

I sat on the project for a few weeks seeing that the clock was ticking.  I needed to get this done!  I then took an old credit card and drilled a few holes in it to act as a template to drill over 300 holes into the board.  As you can see from the photo above I marked it with a pencil before going all out!

Birthday party fun!

Everyone loves a good marshmallow.

Sierra pulling Maman on the sled!

After some varnish.

Making some Christmas cookies

Note the Mr. T action figure!!

Might steal this idea for next year.

Finished product!  The only thing that really messed up with this entire project were the custom playing cards I ordered…the box they came in was larger than the spot I carved for them!

I can’t figure out if the cribbage board or the custom playing cards were the best part of the gift!

It’s been a long Star Wars ride but we went and watched Rise of Skywalker on opening night and it was great!

For a few years I have been suffering from styes that form on my eyelid.  I was having a good run of not having any for a few weeks but it came back in full force.  I hadn’t had it this bad since when it first started up years ago.  Hopefully one day we’ll figure out how to get rid of them but as the specialist once told me: “You won’t die from it, but you will die with it!”

Sierra riding the escalator at my work

There were carollers so Sierra and I sat down in the lobby to listen to a few songs.

Santa was nice enough to pay us a visit at work!

After awhile at work, it’s time for a break.

It was great to see some of the old gang from when we worked together back in 2010.  It’s also crazy to think that some of us still work together!  Hey, when you love your job and the people you work with, why would you leave?

Clearly Sierra was not too happy with Mina trying to watch her iPad.

It’s Christmas eve and the cookies, milk, and carrots are ready for Santa and his reindeer!

Christmas morning

Alright, some context is needed for this five minute video, but it is well worth watching.  A few months ago while eating a smoked meat sandwich for lunch, we asked Sierra what she wanted from Santa Claus.  She thought about it for a bit and then said “a smoked meat sandwich!”.  We thought this was quite funny but when we asked her a few more times as Christmas got closer, she had the same answer.  But she also added a few things…”un smoked meat sandwich puis un non et un oui!”  Only Santa could figure out what she meant by this and Santa delivered!  Sierra was VERY excited to see some smoked meat come her way for Christmas.

Smoked meat!!!

Prepping Christmas dinner.

What a great Christmas treat!  Poppa, Grandma, Abbey and Maureen came to visit us for a few days!  Too bad it was freezing rain most of the time!

Sierra enjoyed the activity tablecloth that Grandma brought for Christmas.

I had a good laugh at this one on Facebook.

Sierra enjoyed the slippers that Nanny Ruth made for her.

Kitchen party!

I love how this photo makes it look like I’m playing to an audience of one.

Obligatory moose mug shot!

 

Instant pot: spaghetti

https://thesaltymarshmallow.com/instant-pot-spaghetti/

I modified the recipe from the site above and it came out decent.  Vero really likes it.  I feel there’s a little bit of flavour needed.  The comments section mentions someone adding some brown sugar as they like a sweeter taste,  I may try that next time.  Update: I did try the cup of brown sugar and while good, I wasn’t a fan.  I need to figure out the missing ingredient.

Ingredients

  • 2 Pounds Lean Ground Beef 
  • 3/4Teaspoon EACH Salt, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder
  • 1 Pound Spaghetti Noodles (this is one package of noodles)
  • 1 jar of tomato and basil spaghetti sauce
  • 1 1/2 Jars of water (just use the jar from the spaghetti sauce)
  • 1 large (28 oz) Can Diced Tomatoes
  • Set the Instant Pot to saute’ and add the ground beef.  Add the salt, garlic powder, onion powder.  Cook the meat and seasonings, breaking the meat up until it’s completely browned.  Turn the Instant Pot off. Drain any excess grease from meat if necessary.
  • Break the spaghetti in half and place on top of meat in the Instant Pot.  Pour over the spaghetti sauce, diced tomato, and water.  Push the spaghetti down with a spoon if necessary to make sure it is completely covered in liquid.
  • Seal the instant pot and set it to manual mode, high pressure, 8 minutes cooking time.  When the time is up, use manual quick release to open the Instant Pot.  Stir the spaghetti well.  Serve immediately

Theres a lot of spaghetti to eat,  I wouldn’t be surprised if we have leftovers for two more nights.

 

 

Ezra’s Fourth Month

Kids.

Sometimes they are like this:

But then sometimes they are like this:

And if you’re really lucky, they give you this once in awhile:

Ezra is full out screaming at me 50% of the nights but then other nights he’s content to hang out with me.  You never know what you’re going to get!  But he’s doing good for the most part.  I don’t feel he’s got any health issues that we need to be concerned about.  What do I know?  Maybe the 50% of the time he’s screaming at me is because he’s allergic to hanging out next to his Dad?

A typical evening for me is to return home, help out with Sierra to put her to bed and then I bring Ezra downstairs and we watch some TV/movies.  Somewhere along this ride he gets a bottle and then if I’m lucky he’s all smiles for 30 minutes and then he starts to get cranky so I rock him to sleep or wrap him in a blanket and he falls asleep next to me for an hour until the next feeding.  Feedings are slowly stretching past the two hour mark.  Sometimes he’s can go another 30 minutes, sometimes not.  That’s on a good day.  On a bad day, he’s crying after I give him the bottle and he doesn’t let up for two hours.  I even had to employ this handy device one night:

I’ve learned to watch Star Wars with the subtitles on.

He’s enjoying the Christmas lights we have put up.  Vero tells me that he stares at the Christmas tree a lot.

Onto the pictures!

Mom’s still got the Midas touch!

We’re teaching Sierra how to take photos.

Two beauties!

Maggie Simpson.

I’ve never seen this outfit before.  Is this supposed to be Mickey Mouse?

Sierra gets some cuddle time with Ezra before bedtime usually.  At a quick glance you would think Sierra is looking at the camera but we all know she is staring at the television behind us.

Vero goes out for the night and the supper of champions emerges!

Vero would probably tell you that this is a typical morning for Ezra.  Having a nap while taking a walk around the neighbourhood.

Taking Ezra for a sled ride.

It was the just the three of us one night so Sierra helped give the bottle while I cleaned up the kitchen.  They both did quite well!

The snow comes and goes around Ottawa so we took advantage of it when we could.  It’s interesting to see how Ezra reacts in the cold.  If there is the slightest gust of wind it takes his breath away so we generally have to bundle him up in blankets.  But on a day like today he was doing good.

I think they are both getting used to having photos taken.

I saw this at the Canadian Tire toy section and I thought “Yep, that sounds right.”

Fredo and Ezra hanging out.

THIS is what we like to see in the evenings!

Ezra enjoys the time spent in his little play yard.

Checking out what the family is doing.

Relaxing.

Watching Christmas specials on a Saturday morning.

Sierradinosaur and Ezra were really into Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Ezra was loving playing with this.

And this!

Damien Robitaille!  Trish and Vero got to see him play a few Christmas tunes down near City Hall.

He has a new Christmas album out this year which is a great listen (and a great gift under the tree!)

And so it begins!  With the Rise of Skywalker coming out in a few weeks I decided to take Ezra on the journey of watching six Star Wars films with me.

For Holly’s Christmas party I infiltrated with a gift of my own…a photo book of my life!  It was a hot ticket item for the gift exchange!

Sausage dip!

Ezra was helping put the Christmas tree up.

Ezra and Sierra got to meet Santa at the Vars Christmas celebration!

I have to take tips from this guy.  He was a great entertainer.

The afternoon was a hit and we give thanks to the Optimist Club for putting on this great event each year.

Watatow!  Four months old already!