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!


“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!



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