Ezra’s Second Month

 

“How is Ezra doing?”  “How is Vero?”  “How is Sierra?”

All valid questions when you are two months into living with a newborn!

Life is Ezra is definitely easier than it was with Sierra.  We know what’s going on.  We are looking at a problem to solve (“How do I change a diaper again?”) and muscle memory comes back from three years ago and we know how to fix the problem.

Even going to the doctor results in amusing moments where the doctor asks if we have any questions and we reply “No.  Everything is good.” whereas with the first child we had a laundry list of questions!

Vero is still avoiding dairy products in case he has an intolerance and so far we think this is the good path to be on.  Ezra has split personality.  Some times he sleeps a lot during the day, is pretty calm and life is good.  Other days he doesn’t get much sleep at all and subsequently probably makes him quite irritable later on in the day!  I can’t speak for Vero who is with him the majority of the nights and days but there have been a few times during the evenings where I’m with him and he just won’t stop screaming at me.  Then there are other nights where he takes a bottle, settles down and passes out with me on the couch for four hours.  🙂  We are trying a few things like anti-gas drops for colic and all of that stuff when he gets irritable but we’re not sure if it’s making a difference.  So at this point, I would say 50% of his days and nights are great!  50% are not so great.  But considering we have a two month old human being in our house, I suppose that’s par for the course?  Although Vero tells me that her grandmother told her a story of how all her kids slept from 10pm until 6am!  Must have been the cow’s milk?

But Ezra is pretty amazing right about now.  He’s starting to smile!  That’s why people have children…to experience those small moments where they start smiling or talking or laughing.  It’s infectious!  It makes life worth living!  Ezra is doing great and we are doing great as well.  Who cares about sleep?  As many people have said before…I’ll sleep when I’m dead!

I took five weeks off (thank you Employment Insurance!) to help Vero out and I really appreciated the time I had with the both of them.  I had a good routine going on…when Vero would wake in the morning 9am, I would take Ezra off her hands for a few hours.  I would generally have a destination in mind like Best Buy or Wal-Mart and we would hit the road.  He quite enjoys the shopping cart and would fall asleep.  My ongoing joke when people would stop me and ask about Ezra is “I’m thinking of picking up one of these shopping carts for the house because this is the only way he sleeps!”

I realized my five weeks were ending soon so Ezra, Vero and I hit up the Casselbrew brewpub.

I think he enjoyed his first sip of beer.  I’m kidding!  Can I just point out I find this outfit hilarious because it has teeth on the feet?

This collage didn’t get the sequence right.  I find the sequence of these three photos hilarious if you start at the bottom left and see Sierra taking care of Ezra.  Then in the leftmost photo she takes her eyes off of Ezra and starts watching Dora on TV.  Then in the top right we see the consequences of her actions as Ezra proceeds to fall off the pillow!

It was a nice Fall day when I decided to hang out with Ezra near the fire.

Grandma and Poppa dropped by for a few days on their way back from Gaspe.  They grabbed Ezra for themselves and didn’t even say hello to me until a day later.

I get a sense from this picture that Dad must remember how it is to handle two kids at the same time and he’s thinking “Boy, I’m glad I’m not doing this full time!”

Just like his Dad…sticking his tongue out during hard tasks

Here is Ezra with his new toy called Ruth after Nanny Ruth who made it for him.  Hilariously when we asked Sierra what the dog’s name was she says “Ruth Ruth!” like “Woof woof!”

Hanging out with Maman on the deck.

Welcome to our life…staring at a baby trying to lift his head!

At least one of us is sleeping.

Ezra doesn’t look too sure about this situation.

Matante paying a visit with Ezra for the first time.

This is a typical spot for Ezra during the evening.  Cuddled up next to me trying to sleep while Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is on.

We decided to drop by the Buhr Clan for a visit.  It was a long time coming since Rob somehow came down with shingles a few weeks prior!

“I can do it!!”  I’m not sure what he was trying to do here but he seems pretty excited that he accomplished it.

3 out of 4 people looking into the camera isn’t bad!

After a good walk.

Guy Smiley!

Pretty sure Ezra saw a ghost walk by.

Franco-Ontario day!

This was Ezra at the neighbour’s BBQ.  Maybe he really likes white noise?

JF doesn’t look so sure in this photo.

Maelle has the knack for holding babies.

This guy does as well!

Either that ghost walked by again or he finally saw my face.

This guy looks content.

After six weeks of purely breast feeding we managed to get a bottle into the rotation!  Here is Ezra’s first bottle.  He took it like a champ.

Emeric managed to find this retro Star Wars toy for me at Toys R Us!  Sweet!  I am on the hunt for the other five figures if anyone sees them in the wild.

Dozing.

Laura knit this amazing elephant which we have dubbed “Laura the Elephant”.  

First Vars community supper for Ezra!

Sierra spending some time with Ezra before bedtime.

Here’s Mononcle Etienne with Ezra at Alex and Gisele’s wedding.  It was a little loud in there hence the earmuffs.

The wedding was held at a farm on the Quebec side.  We got to take the Thurso ferry for the first time which is neat.  I have to say this about fall weddings…when it’s nice out, you automatically get a 10/10 for a great wedding day.  But if it would have rained, it would have changed it to a 2/10.  Lucky for all of us, it was a great success of a day!  Also, you can’t go wrong with a wedding where I had a beer in hand during the actual ceremony.

Ezra isn’t so sure about flying through the air.

End of the night before we headed home from the best wedding of the year.

Ezra and Sierra watching “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”

After a year away taking care of her baby, Nat gets back to work!  We are going to try carpooling together.  We are already in talks to create a podcast which would basically just record whatever we are laughing about during the ride to and from work.

Look at that smile starting to form!

This Jedi seems a little scared of the Empire.

Bundled up for a walk.

 

Review: Great Lake Swimmers at 27 Club

I’ve been following Great Lake Swimmers for years now but have never been able to catch them live.  Until now!  Going to a concert while leaving Vero home alone with a newborn is a tricky feat but she had a great day leading up to that evening so I was able to escape for a few hours.  Thanks Vero!

I’m going to chat about two things here…the concert itself and the opportunity I had to record the concert.

The concert itself

Opening for Great Lake Swimmers was the touring keyboardist; Colleen Brown.  She played a couple of tunes on the guitar and followed up with more on the keys.  I really enjoyed her songs and while nervous at first, I think she found her footing after a few songs.  Who isn’t nervous when performing?

I am super freaked out by this picture as it’s like she is staring directly at me.  It’s like those horror movies where you see someone in a photo staring into your soul!

Next up we had a special treat in the form of Tanya Davis who recited a few poems of hers.  The lighting went down accidentally during one of her poems but she kept on going like a pro.  I ended up being a substitute lighting rig for a few minutes as the sound guy asked me to point a flashlight at the stage so people could see her!  It’s not often I hear poetry and I enjoyed her style and delivery.

Great Lake Swimmers finally took the stage to a decent sized crowd.  After the first song it was apparent that we were in for a treat and the band has a relaxed nature to them and crack a joke here and there.  It makes the moment more intimate.  They had a good selection of new tunes mixed with old tunes.  They are a top notch live act and I will definitely see them if they pass by in the future.

Colleen Brown setlist

You’re Only A River Away
Moncton, Flight 179
Love You Baby
I Remember
Will You Still Love Me? [Carole King]
Lead Me On

Great Lake Swimmers setlist

The Real Work
In a Certain Light
Side Effects
The Great Exhale
Put There by the Land
Everything Is Moving So Fast
Alone But Not Alone
Your Rocky Spine
Still
Something Like a Storm
Visions of a Different World
The Talking Wind
Come A Long Way [Kate McGarrigle]
Changing Colours
Pulling on a Line

The recording of the concert

Considering I was heading out to the concert alone I thought this might be a great time to try out my Tascam recording unit and try my hand a recording a live concert!  I love live music and I love bootlegs of concerts.  I scour the internet in hopes to find a recording of concerts I’ve been to in the past.  But I’ve never been the person who has attempted to record a concert myself.

Until now!

The band!

At first I was just going to bring my Tascam unit in and hit record and see what happens.  I had no idea if the venue would allow it or not.  But then I thought “Why don’t I email the band to see if they would mind if I recorded the show?”  It’s not like I’m going to be selling the show to anyone.

Sure enough, Tony of Great Lake Swimmers got back to me the next day and said it would not be a problem as long as I stayed out of the way with my equipment and it would be great if they could get a copy of it!  Fantastic!  What an opportunity to fulfill a dream!

I spent the next few weeks learning everything I could about the Tascam unit.  I even managed to velcro a portable battery pack to the unit so I wouldn’t be just running on double A batteries which may not last 2-3 hours.

My rig

I arrived at the 27 Club with fifteen minutes to spare before the opening act.  There wasn’t a lot of people in there and I could easily go chat with the sound guy.  I don’t know why, but I was super nervous going to the sound guy to ask if I could get a direct feed from his board.  Leading up this event I knew that there would be two eventualities…he says no and I just set up the Tascam unit somewhere and hit record and use the external microphones.  Or he says yes and I get the best quality recording ever.  He had no issues with it whatsoever and we chatted about what I was hoping to accomplish and we decided to run two XLR cables straight from the board into the Tascam unit.  Fantastic!

I had a couple of minutes to spare before the opening act started and I set up the recording unit on the edge of the sound board area so I could monitor the input levels to ensure they wouldn’t peak.

Not going to lie, this was my view for 50% of the night as I was constantly keeping an eye on the recording levels.  Recording a concert is work!

Colleen Brown came on and I could see inputs 1 and 2 bopping along and I adjusted the levels accordingly.  I think it was working!  Half way through her set I realized that I must have been still recording using the external mics and not the soundboard feed and sure enough, once I listened to my playback I found out that my hunch was correct.  What was I doing wrong?

I figured out that for whatever reason, the soundboard feed was coming on input 3 but not 4.  So I’m not entirely sure why this wouldn’t let me record two XLR cables but I had to figure out what I wanted to do.  In the end, I figured that one mono track of the soundboard feed was still going to be better than whatever the external mics were going to get me.  In hindsight, I have to admit that after comparing the two recordings the Colleen Brown concert still turned out quite decent in terms of an audience recording.  It picked up a lot more noise like the venue’s air conditioning unit and the chatter from the crowd but it wasn’t that bad.

I still don’t know what was wrong with Input 4 and I’ll have to do some more testing to figure that out.

What’s interesting about recording straight off the soundboard is that I must have been recording post-mixer so I didn’t even have to monitor for peaks because the sound guy was already handling that for me.  I did have to crank the input gain to the max and I’m not sure why that is.  Perhaps it was just a really low output coming from the board?  Either way, it all worked out!

It was really interesting standing near the ‘behind the scenes’ area of a concert.  There’s a lot to think about.  The sound guy is constantly keeping an eye on levels and how the sound is.  He’s also handling the lighting which was a disaster when the computer decided to crash along with the software handling all the lights.  But it’s neat to hear the band chat with him before the show asking for certain types of lights to create an intimate setting.

At the end of the night I packed up my gear, thanked Joel the sound guy for his help and went to the merch booth to introduce myself to Tony.  I picked up a few CDs and said I would send him a copy when it’s ready.  He seemed excited to hear that I got to plug into the soundboard.

I got back to the car and started listening to what I captured and I was overjoyed to hear that everything came out great!  My first outing with the live recording rig was a near complete success and I’ll troubleshoot input 4 before the next time I head out.

Special thanks to Joel for helping me out along the way and to Tony of Great Lake Swimmers for allowing me to capture a moment in time.

Until the next time!

 

Sierra’s 40th Month

Lordy lordy, look who’s forty (months)!

Oh boy, I’m looking at these photos from the end of August thinking “Where did the summer go?  It’s freezing nowadays!”  Gone are the days where Sierra hops on her bicycle after work.  Gone are the days of lazing on the back deck.  It’s all gone!

But with the fall comes the rain and Sierra in a yellow rain jacket is a fun sight.

Sierra has been really good with her baby brother in the past month.  We have noticed she has regressed to a child who needs help with everything “Help me with my clothes.”, “Help me eat.”, “Help me exist on this planet you call Earth.”  But if that’s the worst that is happening, we are fine with it.  She really wants to help out with Ezra but knows the boundaries if we don’t want her to help out (aka, when she has a cold and we don’t want her anywhere near him!)

I saw this on Facebook and still can’t stop laughing about it.

These two jokers are up to no good!

Her and Abbey got to hang out in some indoor park in Orleans while Vero and I stayed home with Ezra one morning.  It was really great to see family for a few days.  It sucked for John because he came down with a cold so he slept in the van the first night he was there in fear that he would get the baby sick!!

Hanging out with friends

I love how this picture from daycare shows a blur of Sierra running!

One Saturday morning Sierra, Ezra and I hit the road to let Maman sleep a little.  Here is Sierra showing off her bicycle.  She quite loves this thing!

I remember last year Sierra couldn’t even hold onto these chains!

We were looking for some really nice rocks to bring home to show Maman.  I found this one and Sierra said “WHOAAAAAA.”  She figured she could push it home.  Sierra is quite stubborn when things don’t go here way!

I made the rookie mistake of not packing a water bottle for our adventures around the neighbourhood so we quenched our thirst with a Mr. Freeze when we got home.

While I sat out in the sun on the lawn I snapped some great pictures of Sierra.  The wind just whipped her hair up for this shot and I quite like it.

I also love the collage Google Photos made of the same spot.

My go-to song to hum to the kids is the theme song from The Friendly Giant.  Vero made me realize that I had never introduced Sierra to it so we put on an episode and she quite enjoyed it!

It’s always a good time when we get the cool cart at Home Depot!

These days, Sierra’s bedtime routine is as follows: Read a book.  Give her Froggie.  Give her the blanket.  Give her a sheet.  Give her the comforter.  Tuck her in.  Give her a hug.  Give her an Eskimo kiss.  Say good night.  Say I love you.  She’s nice enough to respond ‘I wuv you.”

Vero was super excited to show me that she could fit in non-maternity clothes again!

While out for a walk one morning we stumbled upon a new food truck in Vars…Mr. Panino!  It was quite odd to see a food truck parked in someone’s driveway but sure enough, they were open for business!  We had a great panini from them.  We will definitely go again!

We didn’t plant much this year but here was the jalapeno plant near the end of the summer.

So here is a picture of the start of my new career…children’s entertainer!  Now, a few months ago the daycare workers caught wind that I play music and they suggested I drop by one morning to play some children’s tunes.  This generally isn’t a huge request but singing French songs is a whole new ballgame!  I didn’t practice too much at the beginning of the summer but I realized that while I was off on parental leave I should make it a point to drop in.  I brought my dulcimer one morning just to double check a few things on how to sing certain songs…how many verses in ‘Au claire de la lune’?  Things like that.  So this was my test run at 7am one morning.

I find this photo from daycare hilarious because it was captioned “Sierra decided to play dentist and measured everyone’s teeth.”

Ready to cruise!

Sierra was wondering what headphones were all about so I plugged them into the stereo and let her listen to some Stan Rogers.

I felt this sign at St-Hubert in Casselman was made for me.

Sierra came up with a new concoction…coleslaw mixed with the St-Hubert sauce.  Yum?

Piano recital

Saturday morning and both Ezra and Maman are sleeping.  What should we do?  Superball!

We were going through the garage and Sierra yelled ‘piggy back!’.  I’m excited that she is loving this thing again considering the amount of money we spent on it!

Max came over for a visit to show off his drumming chops.

Post-gig picture

I’ve been getting Sierra to play Kirby on the Super Nintendo and Vero said “That can be your thing.  I don’t need to hang around and play video games.”  Vero hates video games.  She thinks they are useless.  You can see how amused she was when I said “But Vero she really really really wants YOU to sit with her and watch.”  I really like the Kirby game where there are no enemies for her to go against…she just races against an opponent and can practice her walking and jumping skills.

Sierra helping with the ribs we made in the instant pot.  Mega success with this recipe!

I had a good laugh when I saw this in Vars.

A photo of my first gig as a children’s entertainer!  I even got to record it which was great.  The twenty minutes flew by.  Let me tell you…playing for kids is hilariously chaotic.  At one point I’m playing an easy ABC alphabet song and when I’m at the end of the song and need to refer to my piece of paper I notice that Sierra has already taken and thrown it away!  We also had kids asking for other songs while I was mid-song on another song!  Oh man, it was hilarious!  I think the fun part was when I was singing Michaud est monté dans un grand pommier and we would just sing the song again put insert a different kids name each time.  They had a good laugh at that, especially when I tried to cram three kids names in it at one time!  Thanks for the opportunity to come and play for the kids!

Sierra, future ninja?

Grandma and Poppa came back from Gaspé and stayed a few days to help us out.

The Tickle Monster attacked Poppa!

Figuring out a complex puzzle.

We went out to the Cumberland Market one Saturday morning in search for everything to make some dill pickles.

Poppa and Sierra eating some carrots and beans.

Our friend was super nice to invite Sierra over for a few hours so these two jokers could play together.  It’s a whole new world thinking Sierra has friends she can go hang out with!

Other than Grandma forgetting her recipe, I would say the pickles turned out to be a success!  There is a good photo of the entire family around the pickles but I believe Mom has them still on her camera.  Mom, time to send those over!

Bonne fete Maman!  

Tandréane dropped by for an hour while in town with her friend.  Sierra loved showing her her bedroom.

Saturday morning lounge time.

A year ago I don’t think she was navigating these as well!

I pulled the Lite Brite out for Sierra one morning.  She quite enjoys it!

Lately when I pick up Sierra from daycare she insists that I sit on the opposite side of the bench.  “Dad sit HERE (points at one end), moi sit HERE. (points at the other end)”

Hey.

So here’s something I did for the first time…I marched for a cause.  This part of the Global Climate Strike.  I had heard my manager was heading to it so I decided to tag along for the good cause.  It was quite interesting to see the amount of people assemble for a cause.  It was quite moving.  It really hit me when we all converged onto Portage bridge and you could see the amount of people on the bridge.  It was a slow moving march and I suppose that’s what happens with tens of thousands of people.  Ironically right before we headed out for this march we grabbed a bite to eat and the person serving us was against the march and we weren’t exactly sure how to respond considering we were literally grabbing a sandwich and joining the thousands of people outside.  We didn’t say anything and it’s always good to remember that everyone is entitled to their opinions.

The crew

I grabbed a screenshot of the Hill cam at the moment we arrived.

I was disappointed I didn’t think of making a clever sign!  There were some decent ones out there.

My submission for the caption contest.

Sierra was pretty excited that we got to hang out with some friends after daycare one day for a BBQ.  Could it be the last BBQ of the season?  Probably!

Approximately 15 pounds of half eaten food was left after this gathering of kids at the dinner table.

I’m pretty excited that Sierra and her friend was sweeping up all the cobwebs around the area!  Next stop: my house!

 

 

 

Radon in the house

Let’s talk about radon shall we?

Vero works at Health Canada and last year she was working on some information regarding radon in

your orders

your house.

The Government of Canada defines radon as:

Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rock. It is invisible, odourless and tasteless. When radon is released from the ground into the outdoor air, it is diluted and is not a concern. However, in enclosed spaces, like homes, it can accumulate to high levels and become a risk to the health of you and your family

Wait, why would you read something when you can see an awesome video?


With that knowledge, we decided to buy a radon tester off of Amazon and put it in the basement.  It came out to around $45 which I suppose is a small price to pay to find out that I’m sucking in some odourless gas and I should do something about it.  We put the radon tester in a spot out of the way in the basement and left it there for six months to see what happens.

Six months later we received a report and it said that we had higher than suggested levels of radon.  Not by a lot, but still, it may be a concern.

The maximum recommended level of radon is 200 becquerels per cubic meter.  We had 207.

Recommended timeframes for taking action to reduce radon levels

So, we’re not OVERLY worried considering the infographic shows we should fix our home within 2 years, but still, it’s something to look into.  The first thing we have tried to fix is our sump pit cover.  It wasn’t sealed up so there could have been radon gas leaking out through that.  Dad sealed it all up with tape and we will buy another test to see if it made a difference.  If it didn’t then we are dealing with another issue that could be cracks in the walls or floor.

Why am I bringing this up with you?  Well, I figured that if I have radon in my basement, then you may as well.  What’s the harm in spending $45 to get yourself a test?  I suppose it’s not the end of the world if you don’t spend any time in your basement but if you do, do yourself a favour and get a test done.

Shopping for kids shoes at Wal-Mart is a little ridiculous

This photo isn’t even from Wal-Mart but I would say it sums up my experience.

Last week Sierra mentioned that her shoes were tight.  Sure enough her toes could probably pop out the front if there wasn’t some sturdy leather in place.

Sunday morning I packed up Ezra and Sierra to head out to Wal-Mart since I didn’t have luxury of checking out second hand stores for some shoes on a Sunday.  Speaking about luxury, I would like to say that I truly, truly, truly appreciate how Maureen has hooked me up with three years of shoes before this point and I had never had to go shoe shopping before.  Thank you!

But the day finally came that we had to enter into this new world and so with the two kids we headed to the shoe aisle.

Now, this post isn’t going to focus on a constantly crying Ezra or a Sierra who promised to behave but then realized that trying on shoes is a fools’ errand and she wanted to run around instead of help take care of her brother.

I’m going to focus on the sheer insanity which is trying to find kids shoes at Wal-Mart.  Imagine before you five shelves filled with shoes of all sizes and colours with no actual order to them.  Good luck trying to find a size 10 shoe.  EVEN MORE good luck trying to find a Size 11 after you wonder if the size 10 is still a little too small.

Out of 1000 pairs of shoes I think I stumbled upon two pairs of Size 10 and to this day, I still haven’t found the elusive Size 11.  The size 10 we tried on were some high tech light up ones that I swore were probably overpriced so I balked at getting those.

Of course I made the ultimate mistake in actually telling Sierra we were going to get new shoes so when we left without any it was the end of her world.

Seriously Wal-Mart…are you like this in every store?  After speaking with some colleagues, it seems like the answer is a resounding ‘yes’.

I never will go buy shoes at Wal-Mart again.  It’s chaos.  It was well worth it to walk into a Carter’s see their shoes hanging up according to size and bingo bango, I paid $5 more then I would at Wal-Mart and walked out of there in fifteen minutes.  I wasted a lot more of that in terms of time spent looking for that elusive size 11.

Wal-Mart, I love you.  Heck, I used to work for you.  I will always argue in your favour.  But not when it comes to your kids shoe aisle.

Review: Massive Attack at Bell Centre

Mom and Dad were nice enough to come help Vero babysit while Etienne, Benoit and I hit the road to see Massive Attack in Montreal.  We were originally going to see them in the Spring but they postponed that tour and rescheduled right after Ezra was born.  FANTASTIC?

21 years of Mezzanine!

I’m not the hugest Massive Attack fan but I (along with everyone) fell in love with their Mezzanine album from 1998.  It’s a perfect album…one of those that you can listen from front to back.  In honour of the album they were playing the album in full 21 years after they released it.

I would have to say that musically, I thought the show was fantastic.  They mixed up the tracklisting of their album and played a few songs I didn’t recognize but found out later that they had used samples of these songs in the building of Mezzanine so they decided to play those samples in full song form which is interesting.

Visually I’m not sure what to say.  It was quite the spectacle!  Considering I don’t know much about Massive Attack I didn’t realize they were a hyper political band.  Images of Saddam Hussein and Iraq bombings still flash into my memory banks.  As Etienne put it “I didn’t realize my Saturday night in Montreal would consist of me seeing images of dead people in a warzone.”  I’m still not sure what they were trying to portray with a lot of their visuals.

But all in all, I was really excited to hear one of my favourite albums from the 90s played in a live format and we are very lucky to have caught it!

I can’t complain about our seats!

Hanging out with these two jokers.

Decent light show.

End of the show.  

Ezra’s first month

We’ve made it to the tenth of the month and have survived!

There were fears going into this that he would inherit the same digestive problems that Sierra had in the first year.  He doesn’t show any telltale signs yet so that’s hopeful!  Vero has adopted a dairy free diet to help just in case so we really won’t know until she decides to start eating cheese again.

It’s been a frustrating month in that I feel I haven’t figured Ezra out yet.  I haven’t stumbled upon tricks that help him fall asleep or calm down.  In the past few days I have stumbled upon the trick of letting him suck on my pinky finger for 15 minutes and that seems to calm him down.  Vero asked that on her birthday we introduce the soother to him!  I had a good laugh at that and it’s a great idea.  Time to introduce something that may make all our lives easier!

Ezra was lucky enough to have a few visitors in the past month and there are still people lining up to see him!

I’m in the final week of my time off helping out with Ezra and it’s been a fun ride.  My typical day has consisted of bringing Sierra to daycare then coming home and waiting until Ezra and Vero wake up.  I then take Ezra out for a ride for a few hours to give Vero a break.  At first I didn’t know how long he could last so I would just zip into Canadian Tire and come home and watch Friends or Star Trek.  I then started to realize that he was easily falling asleep for 2-3 hours after a nice car ride so I got to take longer drives with him.

Here’s a weird thing that has happened over the past month…Google Photos is thinking that Ezra is Sierra!  I haven’t figured out how to switch it to recognize a different person but I suppose artificial intelligence has confirmed that they do look alike!

Onto the photos!

Tante Mern came for a visit!  Got the kid to sleep like a pro!

Ezra is as photogenic as his father.

Here he is trying to lift his neck up.  Some hard exercises at one month old!

 

While we had some great help from the midwife, our doctor wanted to take a look at him as well.  He enjoyed the visit to the doctor’s office!  It was interesting to see that he was in the 50th percentile in terms of height and then two weeks later he was in the 90th percentile!  The doctor said that at this age that could just be user error in terms of measuring.  Even a few centimetres can throw the percentiles off.

Ezra was lucky to have Aunt Maureen come and visit!  

Cousin Abbey inspecting Ezra.

I love both Abbey and Ezra’s reaction in this shot!

Staring into the void.

Cuddle time with Maman is the best time!

Good looking family here!

The inaugural Costco visit.

I busted a gut laughing at this one that I saw on Facebook.

I don’t wear many speciality socks but when I do I wear them high!  Thanks Trish!

Trish is back from PEI and excited to hang out with us!  We went to some new Mexican place for a late lunch and their stove was broken so we went to the Clocktower Pub instead.  Turns out they had 1/2 price appetizers!  Score!

This is how breastfeeding in the pub starts out before she can pull the cloth down.  I had to take a photo of this bandita.

Another great visit!

Trying to get the perfect shot!

Ah, the pinky finger.  My last ditch effort to calm the kid down.  Nothing else works at this point but this sometimes works.

Aunt Sue (let’s be honest, it was really Uncle Lynn) made this great blanket and octopus for Ezra.  Thank you!

More visitors!  Ezra is a lucky guy.

Mike and Melissa were gracious enough to come over for a photo shoot of Ezra.  He cooperated pretty good!

Here’s my favourite photo of Trish with Ezra.  She looks very impressed.

Vero was excited to show me that her old shirts were starting to fit again after her pregnancy!

Here’s one for the “Man and his sandwiches” blog!  We were taking Ezra for a walk and stumbled upon a new food truck in the middle of Vars!  I had a porketta sandwich and it was yummy.  We will definitely go again.

Nat is still on parental leave so we dropped by for a quick visit.  Clearly Ezra loves her!

Ellie wasn’t falling for my ‘Take a selfie while I steal your cracker.” trick.

Nat made a lovely blankie for Ezra me.

We don’t have a vegetable garden this year but Vero picked up a jalapeno plant for me and they are coming in pretty good!

Enjoying a little nap on Maman’s lap.

Sierra is starting a career in photography.

Sierra coaching Ezra through some tummy time.  Speaking about coaching, this reminds me how every time I was taking Sierra for a bike ride this summer she would yell out “faster, faster!” and I would have to say “Thanks coach!”

The Losier clan dropped by for a nice visit.

Vero really wanted to figure out how this thing worked with Sierra but we didn’t bother.  We decided to give it another try and it’s quite amazing how well it holds Ezra in place for a walk around the block.

15 minutes of the pinky finger and bam!

Ezra has been around for a month now and he has been eyeing up some key items in the house.  I figured I should take some photos for historical reference.

Good taste in music!

Psh, can’t forget the Pearl Jam of course.

Thundercats….HOOOOO!

TK-1908 reporting for duty.

With great pooping power comes great heartache.

One month later, he is starting to smile!  Vero did point out that he had the biggest burp of his life two seconds before this.  

 

 

 

 

Sierra’s 39th Month

Let’s see…what happened in Sierra’s 39th month on this Earth?

Oh yes, she became a sister.

 

That’s right, look out Ezra, you have a sister who is going to make sure you know how to watch Dora!

Of course everyone wonders how a big sister or brother will react when a baby arrives at the house.  We have to say that Sierra has been beyond extraordinary.  She’s always looking to help out and she also knows how to keep her distance if Ezra is sleeping or if he is feeding.  She is also getting the hang of washing her hands before touching him.  I thought she would be disappointed that she couldn’t play much with him at this point but she doesn’t seem to mind….yet?

It’s the last month of the summer and Sierra has had a lot of fun with her swing set or playing with water guns or hopping on her collection of bicycles/tricycles.

I have been teaching her to speak English which I would say is a hard battle.  There are a lot of times where I say “How do you say that in English?” and she says “Je ne veux pas.”

The interesting part of this website will now be how to focus on Sierra posts vs. Ezra posts.  There were a few photos I wanted to post with Sierra and Ezra the other day and I thought “No no, I’ll save that for the Sierra post.”  Something tells me I’ll be moving towards a simpler monthly update for the entire family format.

Another hot day in July, another trip to someone who owns a swimming pool!  We went to see Ben and Marie-Eve near Hawkesbury and took a dip in their pool.  Here’s Sierra and their son having fun on the trampoline.  I had a good laugh when Ben said “I have all these toys for my son and he only seems to use them when people come over!”

Yep, on the hottest day in July Sierra decides to wear the Santa hat!

This was my office for a week!  With the baby approaching fast and no one at the house I asked to work from home until Danielle showed up to help us out.  This was a typical morning for me and then I would transition into the house when it got too hot.  It was quite the decent setup.  It’s very quiet in the mornings with me listening to either CBC Music, Pearl Jam bootlegs or some new music.  I could fall in love with this lifestyle fast!

Check out the almost finished product in Hull!

Wow, it’s very weird to see this photo almost a month later after Vero has given birth!

Sierra doing some painting at the daycare.

Our daughter the daredevil.

Here’s Sierra imitating her Dad on the bars.

Here’s Sierra helping Maman put the finishing touches on my birthday cake which was fantastic!

Sierra with her old man.

Anne-Marie’s family were nice enough to drop by for my birthday.

Sierra teaching Grand-Maman how to read.

For my birthday Vero smartly suggested an activity fairly close to home/hospital in case the baby decided to arrive.  We decided to head out mini-putting with these jokers!

Melanie smartly packed some snacks which these two devoured every third hole.  Mini-putting with kids is an interesting exercise.  They did have fun though but they definitely didn’t feel like waiting for everyone else to finish their turn!  Luckily they could move ahead and keep swinging the club.

They were not happy I won the game.

One last snack before heading for lunch.

We went to…the Cornerstone Bar and Grill?   I can’t remember if that’s the name.  It was quite good and here’s a photo of when I took the kids on a tour of the restaurant.  I was trying to teach them how to do kegstands.

Sierra hanging out on the back deck.

I got this really great carrying case and strap for my dulcimer that I received at Christmas.  Now I can travel around like a true troubadour!

Wrestling in Sierra’s room.

Bonding 2019 style.

Hanging out at the Limoges park splash pad.

I always giggle when I pull this out of the fridge.

Troy and Connie were nice enough to send me some beer from Cowbell Brewery!  Thanks guys!

This was a big moment for me.  Sierra wanting to really get into playing video games!  I was teaching her how to move right AND jump at the same time.  It took her a few days but she figured it out and when she did…what an accomplishment!  She levelled up!

I thought this t-shirt perfectly encapsulates what every fan of music needs to know.  

 

The team was nice enough to surprise me with a birthday/baby shower.  There was even a bottle of rye in the care package!

The morning of Ezra’s birth (one day after his due date), we decided to hit up the Navan Fair parade.  We just assumed we wouldn’t be able to go because of Ezra but because he decided to hang out inside Maman for an extra day, we gained some extra time!

This parade was quite awesome and lasted a long time.  It was definitely larger than the Russell Canada Day Parade we went to earlier in the summer.

Maybe I should join one of these bands?

So many tractors!

I can envision Nanny Ruth riding one of these through town!

Near the end of the parade was a band on a float playing Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes.  We got Sierra to wave the devil horn hand signal to them and someone gave her a kazoo!  She loves that thing. 

I had a good chuckle when I saw the sign about gang colours.  If I’m part of the Pearl Jam gang, does that mean no black t-shirts?

Here’s where I am probably going to start overlapping photos from other posts of Sierra and Ezra together.  Check out the amount of toys she is sharing with Ezra!

Sierra trying out her new wheels!  She’s surprisingly good at going on the bicycle.

Move over Cheerios and oatmeal…there’s a new breakfast favourite in town called peanut butter and jam on toast!  Although lately she has moved onto just having jam.

Sierra is learning to take pictures with different options.

I’m sure they will be reproducing this picture in thirty years!

Sierra wasn’t too impressed that I went to get the mail before bringing her home from daycare!  She kept telling me everything was crushing her!  During the time I have had off to help with Ezra I have taken Sierra in the bike trailer each morning to daycare.  It’s a fun routine and she loves waving to her friends when she arrives and leaves every day.  I’ve even taken her friend home with her one day which was hilarious as they were giggling the entire trip home. 

One morning Sierra saw some dark clouds and said “Rain?” and I thought “Nah.”  Sure enough, just as we were going to head out on the bike a torrential downpour hit us!  Luckily we were still in the driveway so we both raced for the car.  We were lucky we weren’t caught in that out in the middle of the trip!

We put some grass seed down around the new patio step so Sierra really loves hosing it down (and some sometimes herself!)

The daycare had an entire week of fun activities planned…hat day, pyjama day, picnic day.  It culminated with a water day!

Sierra having some good supper with friends.

I remember a year ago being on this swing set needing to hold Sierra in her seat.  Look at her go now!

Sierra was a trooper biking over a couple of blocks in Vars!  We are teaching her the rules of the road.

Out of all the toys in the store she decides to go play with the Infinity Gauntlet?!  Definitely her father’s daughter.

Someone pointed out that Sierra must be lifting her leg to make room for that second hot dog she asked for!

Alan and Joelle were nice enough to ask us over for a BBQ to finish off the summer.  Here is Sierra playing some game with the other kids.

I guess Sierra thought this would make the best family photo?

Look how far away this daredevil is!  We decided to go on the bike path in Embrun for a stroll.  Sierra had a hard time understanding why she needs to stay between the yellow and white lines.  There were a couple of close calls when she would stray across the line and there were other cyclists coming.  Hopefully they scared her enough to remember to stay in her lane!

She definitely was having the time of her life for the first half of the trip.  I think we brought her too far one way as I had to push the bike all the way back on the return trek.  It was a good trip though.  We stopped for a smoothie and a great BLT wrap on the way back.

Sierra couldn’t understand why she needed to use a fork with her hot chicken sandwich.  As Tante Anne-Marie said “Well in her defense, it IS a sandwich!”

A selfie courtesy of Sierra.

Clearly the doctor has a big effect on Sierra as she chose the stethoscope from the toy bin.  Dr. Sierra! 

The Pope clan dropped by for a few days at the end of August.  Abbey and Sierra wanted to pick up some leaves so we brought them to the neighbours who has this one maple tree that loses its leaves a month before all others.

Bull in a china shop?  No…two girls in a hot sauce store!  We got to sample some great sauces at Chile Chiles but it was pretty hard to keep the two girls on their best behaviour in a store with a lot of glass bottles!

Lovers of hot sauce unite!

I had never seen these things before but John tipped me off that there were these animal vehicles that the girls could cruise around the mall on.  They had a good time roaming around the mall with this for 30 minutes.

My favourite part about this photo is how Maureen is letting Abbey walk behind them!

These two cousins were doing their Geordi LaForge impression.

 

 

 

Ezra’s second week

If the first week with Ezra was trying to find our balance again, then the second week was getting up and being able to skate around the rink a little.  Day by day it was getting easier as we figured out a good rhythm.  Vero realized that the easiest way to deal with the kid at night was to feed in the bed and let him go to sleep there as well.  Still, the kid is still like a vampire who sleeps a lot during the days and then just feeds at night.  Some days it’s frustrating and then others we realize the kid only two weeks old!

He seems to be a fussy baby when he isn’t eating.  It’s quite hard to find something that calms him down from grunting.  He’s not full out crying but he’s definitely grunting a lot and when the evening hits he does seems to start crying a lot more.  Things that calm him down : the pinky finger in the mouth, doing squats and…that’s about it.  We haven’t stumbled upon the magical formula yet although one night I put on Yellow Submarine by the Beatles and the kid fell asleep right away!  I was quite proud of that until the album ended and he woke up again.

Other than that, he’s quite the normal baby who sleeps, poops and feeds.  Nothing much else to report there!

The first bath!  After this bath we noticed his skin was super dry for the next few days.  Maybe we will bathe him in some moisturizer the next time around?

Chillin’ out in the play area.

Sierra is starting to take photos.  Other than not being in focus, it’s not a bad shot!

One of our first visitors!  Gen came over with some great muffins that were dairy free for Vero.  I thought they were quite tasty. Gen wasn’t convinced.

Seeing that Vero doesn’t get long stretches of sleep during the night, our morning routine generally consists of one last feeding before I take Ezra out to do something in town to give Vero some time.  Considering I only have a window of 1-2 hours before he wants to feed we go down the basement and wait it until until feeding time.  Here we are watching Star Trek together!  I think he’s really enjoying it as you can tell.  Sidenote: I’m finally watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and as of Season 4, it’s starting to pick up.

Here we are out at Michael’s one morning.  He sleeps through anything…including a shopping cart bouncing around the parking lot!

When someone asks how big Ezra is, I say “About double the spaghetti.”

The Hart family was nice enough to bring some much appreciated supplies for us!  Ben made an excellent whole chicken and potato meal that has lasted us for a few days now.  Plus there are still some burritos to dig into!   Thank you so much!

Yellow Submarine…lulling babies to sleep for the past fifty years.

We had to bring Ezra to a hearing test at the Metcalfe Community Centre.  We had never been there before.  We found it hilarious that the waiting area was some old cubicle (or perhaps it wasn’t an old cubicle…maybe it’s actually Bobs’ cubicle and he leaves for a few minutes to allow us to sit in his waiting area of a cubicle?).  Such is the life of small town community centres I suppose.  Anyhow, we were worried that we would have to come back again another day as Ezra was awake for the hearing test and they recommend they are asleep.  But one pinky finger to suck on had him quiet enough to pass the hearing test!  Hurrah!

Trying to get Ezra to calm down.

Whenever we can, we try some skin to skin contact with Ezra as the research says it’s quite good for him. Plus, who doesn’t want to have a baby on them?  We tried out Nanny Sybil’s new blanket that she had sent up.  Thank you so much Nanny!

Ezra hiding out with the blanket.

Nothing like a good campfire to knock you out.

I was not too impressed when Vero wanted to dress him up in this thing when we went out to Angel and Michel’s BBQ but she insisted he needed to be warm.  I feel he looks like Ralphie in his bunny outfit from A Christmas Story!