Aye

Great news!  Sierra is now communicating to us via the word ‘yes’!

However, I believe there’s either some Scottish in her or a pirate because she says “Aye” when we ask if she wants more Cheerios or anything else for that matter.

Sierra’s 20th Month

It’s January here and it’s been mighty cold.  -40 for a few weeks at the beginning of the month was not a fun time for Sierra…not much to do when you’re stuck indoors!  We did our best to go to a store and let her walk around whenever we could.

Sierra has had a rash that would show up on her cheek and other areas of her body from time to time.  At first we thought it might be an allergy of sorts.  Then we started thinking it might be some form of eczema.  Whatever it is, it prompted us to try some non-scented bath wash/shampoo and some different creams to put on her body.  We have no idea if any of this helped, but it went from her cheek down to her legs and feet and at the time of writing, it’s all cleared up.  Maybe it’s some weird rash that spreads through the body and then the skin gets used to it and it disappears?  Who knows.

For the past week I tend to put on videos about elephants or hippos or other creatures while Sierra eats breakfast.  She gets really excited when she sees these majestic creatures.

Sierra having fun with her new abacus…always handy if the nuclear war destroys all calculators.

Good thing we were cleaning out the storage room otherwise it would have been months to stumble upon another Christmas gift that was wrapped up in a shower curtain!  Nanny had bid on this item from a silent auction in Gaspe…it is a frame of all formats that music has been released on…78s, 45’s, 33 1/3, 8 tracks…you name it, they got it.  Quite an interesting history lesson!

I’ve been really inspired to write music during the past month.  I managed to finish up two solid tunes which I’m quite happy with.  Here’s my trusty helper showing me how to use the guitar pick.

Sierra practicing some yoga moves.

New Year’s Eve dinner over at Jon and Chantal’s, where we had supper with a monkey.

Victor Von Dube with his eye on the prize.

The kids put on a great spectacle for us.

Photographing children is an exercise in futility.

Snowman!

Standing straight and tall!

Sierra is starting to play with her food in the morning instead of eating it.  This drives me slightly mad.

We got to head up to Lynn and Sue’s for a night which was fantastic (although it was -40 outside so there wasn’t much fun in the woods happening!)

Sierra really enjoyed traveling the world.

The kids playing in the morning

I’ve been working at Place du Portage since 2001 and I never knew there was a greenhouse in the building!  Nat and Etienne were quite amazed at the selection.

While Ellie enjoyed opening gifts for her first birthday, Sierra was scoping out the toy room.

Aunt Trish managed to capture Sierra a few times

The trick is to start them young in building Ikea furniture so they can handle their own Billy bookcase when in university!

For the past few months Sierra has been interested in what we were up to when making supper.  I stumbled upon the idea of a ‘learning tower’; something that can allow kids to safely watch/help out at the counter height.  Someone developed an Ikea hack so I bought this step stool for $25 and spent another $10 for wood (let’s not count the other $20 of screws!  I figure that’s a negligible cost considering I used 10 screws out of a pack of 100).  Other than freezing my ass off outside in the garage in the middle of January, I would say it was a success.  The only issue I had was there were no wood coloured stools at Ikea when we dropped by so I (I mean Mom) will need to paint it white.  An important thing to remember is that this thing can still tip over fairly easily.  Mike and Melanie one that was pretty much the same design and poor Max tipped it over one day.  I’m wondering if I can learn from that lesson and perhaps attach a piece of plywood on the bottom so it would make it harder to tip over.  I’ll think about it over a few beer.

It’s exciting to see Sierra very interested in how tools work.

At work, they were moving us to the fifth floor so everyone stored their plants and other assorted junk in my office on the second floor while they moved.  I felt like I was living in the jungle for a few days!

Showing off her latest masterpiece.

With the fourth floor closing up for renovations I begged Vero to come visit me at work before they tore it all down.  It was in this very spot back in 2005 that Vero rounded the corner and I was blown away by this stunning human being.

A re-enactment of my reaction when she rounded the corner.

This was definitely her reaction years ago.  No lie.  It was neat to see Vero come back to the fourth floor after all these years (she had worked there as a summer student).  Some things had changed and others hadn’t.  

Check out this awesome Deadpool that Amy made for Sierra!

Near the end of January it started to get to be nice outside so we took advantage of it and went snowshoeing.  Last year we were able to carry Sierra in the sling but this year it was time to try out a sled.  We had a bought a nice big red one and it was horrible as she kept falling off when I would pull it.  We resorted to using her baby sleigh that she is nearly done with.  From the looks of it, she didn’t mind at all!

From my vantage point, I couldn’t tell if she was having a good time or not with those screams.

I think she must have been getting tired at this point?

She sure loves those bubbles.

Mel and Jon invited us over for supper (where we could also try out some tunes for their wedding in July).  I snuck off to the basement to hang out with the cool kids at one point.

Sierra is still pretty shy around the kids (maybe not the ones at daycare?).  I tried to get a few photos of her but she was always on the outside just minding her own business.  No matter, it’ll take a few years for her to realize these friends are awesome.

Theatre friends plotting the demise of their husbands.

I had to leave the party early to see Big Wreck on their 20th anniversary tour of ‘In Loving Memory Of’.  It was a great night out with Etienne at Algonquin College.  The only thing that sucks about the college is that you have to finish your beer before going into the theatre!

Killer, killer night with them playing their entire first album (and b-side Ill Advice, only one of my favourite Big Wreck tunes!).  They also finished off with a couple of extra tunes and blew our minds with guitar solos.  Seriously, how insane is Ian Thornley on the fretboard?  Also, I have to point out that Algonquin College always offers a great view from the floor, especially if you venture to the right hand of the stage where there is no one standing.

 

RIP Dolores O’Riordan

Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries died today at the age of 46.  No real details at this point, but what does it matter anyhow?

A few thoughts are going through my mind, memories mostly.

  • I have very vivid memories of listening to ‘Dreams’ on the dock at Angele’s house in Moonbeam, along with Carol.
  • I wasn’t into music until the mid-90s and that was the height of the Cranberries power over our brain, our ears and our heart. I remember hearing their music at friend’s houses, at parties…wherever you went, it was on.
  • I remember being in Carol’s basement trying to play guitar and I’m pretty sure I was trying to learn ‘Dreams’ on guitar. Even now I probably would have a hard time with the picking pattern!
  • I remember seeing them at the Molson Amphitheatre in 1999. Man, we had horrible seats, but it was still a great show.  I remember it was back in the day of when I would write down the songs of the setlist as they were playing…so I always brought a piece of paper and a pen with me.  That didn’t last too long.  Kids reading this are probably asking “Why didn’t you just write it in a note section on your phone?”
  • I also remember Collective Soul opening up for them and they were touring their Dosage album. MAN, what a killer tour.
  • I remember the shock of the ending of ‘I Just Shot John Lennon’. Quite surprising the first time you hear that song.
  • To The Faithful Departed is still my favourite Cranberries album. They just brought a level of aggressiveness which was typical of most stuff coming out of the 90s.
  • I remember trying to get tickets to see them in Montreal last year. I didn’t manage to but I just found a few weeks ago that the tour had ended up being cancelled due to Dolores having back problems.
  • Will my kid ever have musicians that have an incredible force such as the Cranberries? I’m not sure!  I feel that many musicians don’t have a lot of staying power these days.
  • Wow, she was only 46 years old?  That’s only six years older than I am!  When I was younger, even if you would have said to 15 year old me that Dolores was 21 years old, I would have thought that was so far in the future that I couldn’t even fathom being that old.  Now?  Damn, 6 years isn’t that far away!

RIP Dolores.

Bonus: I dug up the greatest photos of all time from the August 27, 1999 concert I was at.  Collective Soul opened, Cranberries closed and as you can tell by the photos, we had the greatest seats in the house.

 

 

 

 

 

Someone should get me a portal gun so I can go back in time and tell myself not to waste my film on this memory!

 

 

 

 

 

 

My 40th Year

Here’s some accomplishments that I’ve done over my fortieth year on this fine Earth:

  • I learned how to change brake pads and rotors with the help of neighbour Claude.  Important lifeskill!
  • Vero and I learned how to make meat pies for Christmas.  I have to say they turned out quite tasty even though I doubled the recommended amount of nutmeg and cinnamon!
  • Listened to Slayer for the first time

More to follow of course.  It’ll be an ongoing chronicle of what I’ve been up to.

Sierra’s 19th Month

Holy mackerel December flew by.  There was way too much going on, much like every other December in the world.

I feel like nothing much has been changing with Sierra in the past month but that cannot be true.  Have I already spoken of how she really seems to grasp what we are asking her to do?  “Pass the spoon”, “Time to put your boots on”, “It’s bathtime.”  She knows what is going on and can tell us that she doesn’t want to do something with a movement of her head and saying “Uh uh.”  She cannot figure out how to say ‘yes’ yet which is hilarious when she wants yogurt after supper.  She knows she wants it, we know she wants it.  We hold it hostage for a few minutes to see if she can say ‘yes’ to the question “Do you want some yogurt?”.  She just smiles at us and drools.  It’s quite hilarious.

Sierra loves going outdoors.  She has the tendency of putting her toque and neckwarmer on and walking around the house.  I’m pretty sure we get the hint kid!  It’s been tough keeping her inside the house while it’s been -35 outside for the past week!  Speaking of it being cold outside, it’s so cold that the entire mouse population of Vars has moved in for the winter!  I was sitting one night watching the finale of Twin Peaks season 2 and at a really scary part I thought a raccoon was up in the ceiling above me!  I jumped to the high heavens and realized it must be mice so I set a trap.  The next morning I caught 4 mice and the next morning I caught 2 more!  Yikes!  I hate mice.  I need to find where they come in every year!

In the mornings, I realized that the Christmas tree is now blocking the news on TV so I thought I would load up some fun videos for Sierra to watch.  She seems to really like accordion music so I found some and as you can see, she was quite happy during breakfast the first time I loaded it up!

Something was growing on Vero’s back during December.

Well, at least she didn’t cry.

Every time we got home and had Sierra turn on the Christmas lights was pretty special.  A lot of times she would go “Whoaaaa” and look at the lights.  Near the end of the month, I think the awe of the lights wore off.  But she enjoyed the whole atmosphere.  Take note parents of the future…don’t put any ornaments on the bottom half of your tree!

I would also be frustrated if my orange kept falling off my cup!

Sierra trying to escape the kiss monster!

Rudolf had a very shiny nose…that Sierra loved to eat.

As soon as we got outdoors, Sierra would always make her way next door to the winter wonderland they had set up.  This became a pain once snow hit the ground!

Going for a walk before the Christmas party.

Unbeknownst to us, this would be the last time we see grass for the year.

Vero and Sierra were having fun in the snow.

Enjoying the cold weather.

The reason for having kids.

This toy is always a crowd pleaser.

Anne-Marie picked up a nice dress for Sierra.

Santa Yoda approves!

Sierra helping me write a new song.  I’ve been playing around with DADGAD tuning as I had read folk tunes were written in that tuning.  It has inspired me to write some music!

The ongoing joke at work is that they only serve coffee at special events and I don’t drink coffee.  Etienne pointed out that they finally heard my complaints.  The best part of the hot water is that there no tea or hot chocolate to go along with it!  It literally was some hot water!

Good times at the Branch Christmas party with Abigail and Etienne.

Nanny’s Christmas sweater won first prize amongst a dozen competitors!  I felt like a golden god when everyone applauded my sweater.  Also, when I heard the chants of “Palmer! Palmer!  Palmer!” I felt like what it must feel like to win an Olympic medal.  Thanks to me friends for cheering me on!  Granted, I’m pretty sure they cheered because I said I would share the prize with them.

Some Pearl Jam vinyl can do no wrong in my house!

Clive and I at the work Christmas party.  His sweater was fantastic.  I am glad I found it at the Bay and he subsequently purchased it.  Unfortunately, it was so hot that he took it off and then forget it at the bar that night!  He never saw it again.  My leg lamp sweater got some great comments.  I especially like when people have never seen A Christmas Story so they have no idea what I’m wearing on the front of my chest.

I left this year’s work Christmas party early because they are morons and scheduled it on the same day as the new Star Wars movie I had tickets to go see the new Star Wars movie!  It was great.  I feel that it might have been a lousy sequel if I’m speaking in purely sequel terms, but I left there thinking “Man, that was a killer movie.”

Ok, so I have to speak about the Riptides for a moment or two.  In fact, this probably deserves it’s own post, but I’m running against the clock of Sierra waking up from a nap, so my thoughts are here.  The Riptides are a local punk band who have been around for twenty years.  The reason I know of them is because Jeff is now the touring drummer for the band.  So when I saw that they were having an album release party I said to Vero “I need to go out and see Jeff play!”  I had only seen the Riptides once before and I remember it being quite an aggressive show at Maverick’s.  Full disclosure: I can’t say that I’ve been to many punk rock shows in my life.  Like…maybe 5, and I’m not even sure if Green Day counts as a punk rock show if it’s seen in an arena?  I’m talking about the dirty dive bars where you’re lucky if the PA system works kind of show.

Melissa let me know that their set wouldn’t start until 11:30PM or so which is quite late for this old timer…but no matter!  I was heading out!  It was weird going out that late into the Market without friends in tow and an already full bladder!  I show up and Jeff sees me and is quite surprised to see me, which was the effect I was going for!  I hung out with Melissa and her coworker for the most part of the night and we watched a couple of opening bands (GOAT was pretty good.  Can’t remember the name of the other band but the PA system sucked for them…couldn’t hear the singer at all).

Alright, so we all know that I haven’t been to many punk shows.  I could feel this energy building up in the place and I didn’t really know where it was coming from.  Oh wait, I recognize the feeling…it was like going to the Heart and Crown and having hundreds of drunken fans rearing for a party!  Yes sir, the Dominion Tavern was about to get torn wide open.  This must have been the craziest show I have seen in years…probably in my top five for the sheer insanity of what was happening.  Did they have mic problems?  Check.  Did they have fans jumping on the stage and grabbing the mics?  Check.  Did they have this awesomely drunk woman get up on stage, take the mic from the singer, scream at the crowd and say something like “Whoever was pushing me around down there, come up and here and fight if you think you’re so tough!” and then she proceeds to take the setlist from the band and tear it up into pieces and now the singer and guitarist are laughing and saying “Well, there goes our setlist!”?  Check and CHECK!  This woman was awesome. She dove back into the crowd and I’m pretty sure I saw some guy get clocked in the face by her before she fell to the ground in a drunken mess.  Sidenote: On her way out, I was near the merch booth and she tried to take my vinyl with her!  No sirree!  Was there a random alien dude in the crowd?  UH CHECK!  Take a look at the video above to proof of my alien sighting!  The volume in the place must have been so long it popped the microphone on the iPhone because there is no sound on the video unfortunately.  Did the singer get a mouth full of blood because of a stage diver?  Check!  At one point is there so much mayhem in the place that the Riptides banner comes loose in behind Jeff?  Check!

Awesome.

“Merry Christmas!  Shitter’s full!”  – Cousin Eddie

At this point, I honestly didn’t know what else could happen to this show.  The stage is a mess, the singer is bleeding all over the place and the crowd is demanding for more.  The band was on fire and they knew it was a special night.  Plus their new album is killer! 

You don’t see this happen at every show you play.  They were super appreciative of what transpired.  I asked Jeff after the show how he felt about it and he said he didn’t even know what the heck was going on half the time!  At one point someone knocked over a drum or a drum mic and he was thinking “Aww what the heck man?” and then he realized “Wait a second!  This is a punk show!  This stuff is gonna happen!”  And happen it did.  That show will forever be etched in my memory and I don’t even know if the colliding forces of alcohol, parkas and Christmas cheer will ever occur again in our lifetime.

The Riptides before they realize they will tear up the place.  Thanks for the show!

I’m not sure what this game was called but Sierra sure enjoyed it!

I never thought the snow hill at the park was anything to get excited about but I guess to a 19th month old kid, it’s the cat’s meow!  It’s quite good as we don’t have too far to hike back up the hill.

Getting my exercise in.

I’m pretty sure this photo was taken from an Eddie Bauer catalogue.  I love my new parka.  My bones have become colder with age and this parka is a furnace!

I love how Sierra looks like she is going to fall off the back!

Sierra still loves going to the park in the middle of the winter.

She sure loves the slide!

Maman and Sierra enjoying a good day outside.

Here’s the thing about work parties.  They never really end!  Here’s my immediate team’s party which was at a local pool hall.  I hadn’t played pool in years and it showed!

Someone is ready for Santa to arrive!

I’ve always wanted to bring Sierra to work on Christmas Eve as a lot of kids show up.  Here she is in my office.  This chair ended up being her ride around the building as I figured she would be too tired to walk everywhere.

Enjoying the scenery at the work pot luck breakfast.  The security guards are quite smart and give her a visitor pass with my phone number on the back in case she gets lost.  Plus, with it on her back, she isn’t trying to pull it off all the time!  

Sierra loved the attention from everyone.

Mr. Ben showing Sierra his toys.

She was amazed at Mr. Etienne’s toy as well!

But the real winner was when Servo brought out some Legos for her to play with.  Ibrahima helped her out.

After work, we dropped home and Vero wasn’t there yet so we decided to drop into the Losiers for a visit to drop off some gifts.  Here is Max and Sierra checking out Max’s birthday gift: Star Wars Potato Heads!

Louise is really good at looking at the only camera in the room.

Rob and the family had us over for some hot chocolate.  

I bet Vero hopes that Sierra will learn to not love this new game she found of riding on Vero’s foot!

It’s hard to get a good family photo when there is no one around to take your photo!

Apple cider and rye.  Christmas is definitely here!

She’s not entirely talkative, but when she starts, she can’t stop!

Prepping some meat pies for Lynn and Sue’s on Christmas Day!  They were nice enough to invite us considering it was our first Christmas where we didn’t head up North.

The lonely end of the rink.

We were fortunate enough to have friends invite us over for supper on Christmas Eve.  We enjoyed a nice Chinese food meal with Krista, Ben, Ellie and Ethan along with Krista’s parents who were up for a few days.  Unfortunately after I got home, I came down with the flu that didn’t let up for 24 hours!  Christmas was quite different this year being away from family, but at least I got to know my bathroom a lot more.

Testing out Krista and Ben’s new tub.  Their house was quite a nice upgrade from the old one.

While I was asleep on Christmas morning, Vero had to take care of Sierra upstairs around a bunch of wrapped gifts.  She said she was in the bedroom at one point and heard a ‘rrrriippp’ and said “Oh no!”  Sure enough, Sierra opened up the biggest gift she could find under the tree!  Ah well, you can’t fault her…it was Christmas morning!

Later in the afternoon when I was feeling mobile, we started opening up stockings.  Sierra scored big time with some soap and shampoo!

Look at how excited this kid is!

Look at the great gift Santa left me!

 

 

Christmas Party 2017

Remember, remember, the second Saturday of December…

I love Christmas with Sierra so far.  Every time she sees something new in the house she says “Wowwwww”

For the past thirteen years we have hosted a Christmas party which is really code for an event that holds the Trivia Cup Challenge.  Spoiler: the men won yet again.  I’m not even sure if the women have ever beat the men in the Trivia Cup challenge.

Mandatory safety sign.  Mina appreciated the Arabic message I left him.

Sierra quite likes the Winter wonderland at the neighbour’s house.

Out for a walk before the big party!

Prepping for the people.

At least they put good use to the stockings!

Master Yoda hanging out with the elves.

Winner of the best photo of the party goes to Ferda!  Sierra was quite good at the party for the most part.  I find it quite interesting how she calms down and just takes it all in…like she’s assessing the situation.  However, around 8PM when it was 30 minutes past her bedtime, we realized she was ready for bed!

 

The greatest hostess along with a good looking man.

These two are an inspiration to us all.  They went 40 minutes on this thing and were a sweaty mess afterwards!

Sierra plotting an exit.

“The reason I’m smiling is it is less than a week until the new Star Wars movie!”

One of this year’s challenges involved stacking these nuts while using candy canes.  Neither team could accomplish it while we had the rule of ‘at least one member needs to hold the plate’.  So when the five minutes were up, we decided to allow them to put the plate on the table and attempt it.  It was quite the difficult challenge.

But the women won this one!

We blamed it on the lousy candy canes that were purchased.  Sidenote: Check out how Andre’s arm is larger than William’s head!  That is awesome.

The final challenge was going to be an exciting one as we were entering into a tie-breaker scenario.  Whoever won this challenge, won the cup!  Always an exciting time.  We end up playing a variation of beer pong which had a tic-tac-toe element incorporated into it.  One side had X’s on their ping pong balls, the other had O’s.

Bro vs. bro!

No surprise here, the men obliterated the competition and won the trivia cup (which Alex was drinking from during the time of this photo)

Great shot of us all. 

Yet another great year for a Christmas party.  Surprisingly we woke up to a few inches of snow the next morning!  I didn’t make out too bad the next morning.  Sierra slept in until 7am so it wasn’t that bad at all. 

 

Click here to access the Google Photo album of all the pictures.

Christmas has arrived

Sierra didn’t really care about Rudolph.

She did like the lights that Mom put up on the house.  She also got to walk around the street and see everyone’s lights.  As you can see, Ottawa doesn’t have any snow at the moment.  I have to say no snow is a bummer, but at the same time makes things a little more convenient (like when you want to take a walk around the block with Sierra).

An elf showed up in the house to help us decorate!

Here is the elf helping with some decorations.  We only broke one glass ball and then realized how silly it was to even try to have glass balls around the tree!

Master Yoda overseeing the operation.

Once again, the Vars Optimist Club arranged for Santa to visit the kids of the community and hand out some gifts.  It was a fun event with all the kids singing Christmas carols.  Note: I need to learn my Christmas carols in French!  Sierra was very appreciative to be around all the kids having fun and wants to thank the Optimist Club for putting on an amazing event.

The fun didn’t end after the Santa event…there was still the tree lighting event at the Anglican Church!  I had completely forgot about that as I cozied up in the living room with only the lights from the Christmas tree and a beer in hand.  Good thing we remembered to head out!  We love how everything is walking distance in Vars.  We hung out on some hay bales and chatted with a few people while waiting for the tree to be lit up.

There it is in all its glory.  The angel on the top even has a name…Angela!  The firefighters help put it on top each year. 

Too bad the phone doesn’t take great pictures at night.  At least you can see the great moon that was out!  It was a nice warm evening as well hovering around zero degrees.  Sierra saw plenty of action this day and conked out pretty fast when we got home around 7:30pm.  She has been waking up around 4:30am for ten minutes and going back to sleep, but she didn’t even do that last night so she must have been exhausted.

 

Sierra’s 18th Month

We’ve officially hit the point where we’ve realized we are taking less and less pictures of Sierra!  I was compiling them for this post and thought “Wow, we didn’t pull out the camera all that much in the past month!”  That is probably because life has settled into what I like to call ‘post-deck building/winter is coming’.  We have become lethargic and entered into a routine.  Pick up Sierra from daycare, get home, make supper for all of us, give her a bath, play with her a bit and then put her in bed between 7-7:30PM.  Nothing much photoworthy there!

Notable events in the past month:

  • We switched the car seats from rear facing to front facing.  This kind of blew Sierra’s mind the first couple of days!  She didn’t know what this new world was all about.  Now she can see the front dash stereo instead of the back of a seat!  She does have a tendency to kick off her winter boots and socks during the ride now which is always interesting when we get to our destination.  “Hey, where did her sock go?”
  • Sierra really likes helping out with things around the house.  She now helps with the dustpan and broom.  She helps put clothes in the washer and dryer.  We are starting to unload the dishwasher with her which is hilarious when we pass her a cup and she proceeds to try and drink from it.
  • She is starting to drink straight from a cup and actually prefers it!  She would rarely be drinking milk and we were wondering if she didn’t like it anymore but as soon as we took the top off of the cup, she gulped it down.
  • We are starting her on different foods in the ‘soy’ category right now and so far, so good.  We have given her soy milk with no issues and she also had a grilled cheese sandwich and some Kraft Dinner in the past few weeks.  It’s getting closer and closer to her being able to eat from our plates.  I had a good laugh last night when Vero ended up with half a meal when Sierra ate all her asparagus, mushroom and most of her rice!
  • There has been some snowfall that has come and gone, and come again.  Winter is officially here!  I’m not sure how much Sierra likes getting bundled up and riding in the car, but she’ll have to learn to tough it out on her way to daycare.
  • She gets really interested when she hears some piano or accordion music playing.  The past few mornings I have been playing Les Cowboys Fringants and some classic french accordion tunes on YouTube and she bops along and claps along.  I took a video but it doesn’t seem to want to upload to Google Photos so I’ll have to see what’s going on there.

Uh oh, looks like something bad happened with that batch of beer of mine.  I’ve read online that it can still be salvaged.  I transferred everything to a carboy and put it into the fermentation chamber and I haven’t seen anything else growing in it.

Sierra loves her ‘How to Speak like a Wookiee’ book.  She even has it in the car now so I’m pretty sure I’m conversing with Chewbacca most of the time while in the car.

Mom and Dad came up for a visit and helped finish off the rest of the deck.  It was greatly appreciated!  Sierra clearly loves hanging out with Poppa for story time.

I thought it was hilarious to see her like this so I figured I should get a video of it for historical reference.

Unfortunately when Mom and Dad were visiting Sierra got sick and then we all proceeded to get the stomach flu.  Not fun!  However, it was a blessing in disguise for Mom who had forgot her passport in Kapuskasing and couldn’t go to the United States on a trip.  If she had gone, she would have been pretty sick on the train down!

Vero and Dad working hard at putting some boards down.  They were flying that day!  After a bunch of days of rain we ended up with a really nice day to do some work.  I also remember the day before I leaned over to put a board down and my body said “Nope.  Not gonna happen.”  Then I crashed for the rest of the day with the flu.

My drill was faster.

Smashing Pumpkins!

When I bring Sierra shopping, I try to do so when I’m not in a rush so she can have some fun along the way.  She LOVED going down the freezer aisle and laughed every time she opened and closed the freezer doors.

Not exactly sure what we were doing here.

We managed to get the garage cleaned up before the winter hit.  It was the first time Sierra could walk around in there.  Granted, I’m not going to let her do that alone considering there’s still a lot of dangerous stuff…including flame! 

We decided to get some wood ready for a fire and Sierra was a great helper.

I was joking with the daycare provider that she probably had her kids raking up her lawn!  I also enjoy how there is a picture of a person under these leaves.  Is this supposed to be a creature of the woods?

 

I really love this photo I was sent of Nanny and Abbey making ginger snaps together.  Hopefully Sierra will get the same opportunity one day!

Vero sent me out for five bags of macaroni for a salad for Marty’s 40th birthday party.  In my head I was thinking “I’m pretty sure this is way too much.”  But then my other side of my brain said “If you don’t come back with five bags, she’s going to be upset.”  Anyhow, the first voice was correct and I didn’t have to buy club size bags of macaroni to feed an army.

 

Rob, Janice and Jenna were nice enough to hang out with Sierra one evening so we could attend Marty’s 40th birthday party.  Sierra reported back in saying she quite digs these people.

Speaking about the excellent party, Victor was having fun with my beer.

Not a whole lot to report back from the party other than it was a killer time and I met this hot mama.

Sierra sure loves her Cheerios.

I would also be screaming if this was chasing me around.

Google makes some funny animations.

I would hate to be the 103 year old who isn’t allowed to play with this toy any longer!

It’s a rare sight to see Salt and Vinegar chips available at Costco.  Sierra insisted we stock up.

Here’s another photo from the series “It’s not always fun and games!”

I wonder if everyone has the same issue we have in getting a decent shot of the family?

Somehow Sierra had her first grilled cheese sandwich without me there!  At least Vero filmed it for me!

This is our new game downstairs.  It’s also coupled with the game of “DO NOT TOUCH THE FIREPLACE!”

Sierra calls this one “Bob Ross, eat your heart out.”

Sierra’s first Kraft Dinner!  Saturdays will never be the same.  Or actually, I guess they will always be the same?

Winner for the most out of focus picture of the night goes to my camera.  I went to Saint-Lazare with Etienne, Alex and Alex as part of the Magical Mystery Musical Event…an event where Etienne, Mina and myself auction a night out on the town where the winner doesn’t know what they are in for.  Granted, I screwed up this years mystery and emailed the winner asking him details about the band we were going to see.  Doh! 

A recurring theme in our Mystery Events is that Etienne and I look for a hotel that has some really bad reviews.  It’s all part of the adventure!  This place did not disappoint.  We were not sure if it was better to sleep on top of the covers or within them!

I also love how we had stopped by Beau’s Brewery on the way to Vaudreuil and the guys, upon arriving said “Our craft beer is too good for this place!  We need something else!” and they showed up in the room with this.

 

It’s always a great time seeing Les Cowboys Fringants on stage.  This was my second time seeing them and they do not disappoint.  The crowd was super into it, the place was quite small so we had a great view wherever we went and it was easy enough to get a beer whenever we wanted.  Excellent night!

Wow, that’s a lot of people on stage!

On the way home, we had the craziest cab ride.  The cab driver cranked the tunes but the radio stations were primarily static.  So you would be sitting there listening to Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer at high volume and then have static blare into your eardrum.  The woman wouldn’t even talk to us when we asked a few questions.  As you can see by my message to the other guys in the cab, I thought it was my last night on earth.

All I can say about this motel is that I went to bed without pink eye, and somehow woke up with it.

Sierra is quite good at handling the dustpan.

She quite enjoyed the giant mittens!