Sierra’s 27th Month is starting to form complex sentences in her language.  ‘Yaya no num num la bas’ = Sierra isn’t eating over there?

It’s fascinating to see her string words together into difficult combinations.  For the most part, I would say that her vocabulary is primarily French (understandable considering she attends a) French daycare and her Mom speaks French to her), but she understands both languages.

I am also enjoying how she’ll be walking beside us and then say “Bye bye Dad” and I look at her and she has this mischievous grin on her face.  She likes standing still in place, waiting until we walk farther away and then running towards us.  I don’t know where she got that game from but it’s entertaining her so that’s what counts.

Sierra continues to be very shy when she enters a situation that she is not familiar with.  For example, if we go visit the next door neighbour’s house for 20 minutes, she spends 10 of those minutes slowly approaching from the edge of the lawn while I am sitting and chatting on the deck.  After 10 minutes she has crept up to me and we ease her into how safe the situation is.  I constantly say “We’re amongst friends.  It’s a safe place.”  After 15 minutes she comes around and enjoys herself.  I wouldn’t say she immediately gravitates to playing along with little friends that are around, but she does play in the general area where they are.  But…every case is different.  If she hangs out with Max, they seem to play together from time to time.  If she’s at a neighbourhood party, there are a bunch of kids, but they are older than her so automatically it’s hard to interact with kids who are faster and more agile than you.

Sierra continues to eat like a champion, although she is starting to become a little picky.  Which is fine in our books.  If you don’t want to eat the mushrooms in the dinner, no problem.  But I do have concerns with her eating an entire bowl of grapes or strawberries that are left out for everyone at the party.  On one hand, she’s getting healthy fruit in her.  But I always am concerned about whether we are teaching her bad eating habits at a young age that will continue later in life (aka, when she likes potato chips, is she going to try and eat the entire bag much like she does with all the strawberries?).  Andréane tells me there is nothing to worry about considering she’s eating healthy stuff.  I suppose I shouldn’t worry too much considering there’s a lot of other kids that have trouble eating ANYTHING!

I got an early birthday gift from Sierra and Vero.  Sierra loves opening up those gifts!  I’m pretty excited by this Tascam DR44WL portable recorder.  I’m a fan of live recordings and it’s time to start recording my own live shows (aka jamming with family).

Muffins made by Grand-Maman are a big hit in our house

Sierra has a fierce independent spirit in her.  You can’t open a door for her or she freaks out.  You can’t put peanut butter on her toast or she freaks out.  Basically…she freaks out all the time unless you let her do things.  Case in point, here’s our regular trip to the park…with her towing the wagon!

The Pope clan showed up to try out the cool tub!  It was definitely a hot few days when they were here so we all had fun in the pool.  Sierra was also trying out her water wings and she ended up loving being in the water!

Sierra with cousin AB-BEEEE.  Sierra is hilarious when she says her name.

Big kids table.

Wait, kids can play on their own without constant parental supervision?

Sierra and Abbey came with me to the park for the morning while John and Maureen heading into town.  It was very hard for Sierra to share her wagon.  I also think it was very hard for Abbey to understand how her cousin never wanted to share things with her!

Double the amount of swings = double the fun!

I’ve finally figured out how to change the in and out points for the slow-mo effect.  But…this video wasn’t privy to that knowledge yet.

Enjoying an apple snack after the park.  Man it was hot out there at that park!!  I’m still sweating a month later.


Someone loves fudge-icles

We headed down to Gaspé for a family reunion this year.  On the way down we stopped in at the Madrid 2.0 truck stop.  I have memories of stopping here as a kid sometimes (or maybe all the time?).  Here’s Sierra with the dinosaurs!

Sierra in mid-smile

We stopped into St Jacques des Leeds for a quick nap for Dad and Sierra and then headed to Thetford Mines to take Mami out for some supper! 

A quick snapshot before heading out

Here is Valerie showing Sierra how to balance things on her head!

Oncle Normand and Tante Sylvie were nice enough to let us stay over for the evening.  Here’s a photo that Sierra took of them since she didn’t want to be in a photo with them!  I have to say it turned out quite nice.

Ready for the second day of the trip!  We decided to drive to Gaspé in three days on the way down and two on the way back.  Next stop…Matane!

We ended up in Matane and it was quite cold.  I had forgot how cold living by the water can be!  I have to say I was pretty disappointed as I had planned out an evening at the motel right next to the water so I could just sit with Vero and drink some beer while we watched the sunset.  It was rainy and cold when we hit Matane.

Sierra figuring out how this contraption works.

Rain or no rain, we were excited to bring Sierra to her first ocean experience!

Always finding treasure at the beach

Looking for adventure

A rare family photo!

The most important point of this photo is to point out the sky!  The rain had stopped and the sun was coming out!  My dream evening was about to begin!

We couldn’t manage to find a spot to eat at a brewpub downtown so we just decided to pick up some St-Hubert and sit on the picnic table outside the motel.  It was a beautiful evening to do so!  Also, can I just point out that it’s hard to find something that doesn’t have french fries while you are on the road?  I was french fried out after a few days!

Say no to crack!

Having fun on the swings before bedtime

While Vero put Sierra to bed, I got to stare at beautiful vistas like this one

Yep.  It’s time to retire here.  That evening posed an interesting challenge for me.  When the sun went down, I knew I couldn’t go back into the bedroom right away or it would wake up Sierra and it’s not like we were ready to go to bed right away.  So we hung outside for awhile until it got too cold and then we settled into the car and watched episodes of Riverdale on the iPad.  It was like camping out!  Vero went and picked up some treats from the gas station across the street.  Let’s be honest…this wasn’t the challenging part.  The challenging part was trying to find a spot to take a leak after a couple of beers!  I had to nonchalantly sneak down to the beach and avoid where people were hanging out.  Don’t worry, I didn’t pee in the sand!  There was no sand.  It was all rocks at this beach.

The next morning we hit the road in search of microbreweries along the way.  I obtained a map the night before of all the breweries along the coast so it was now my quest, no…my MISSION in life to visit all of them!  That mission died pretty fast when we showed up around 10:30am at the first one on the map and it wasn’t even open until 11:30am.  Forget this!  Let’s head to Murdochville!  It was a cloudy, rainy day when we arrived in the town my Dad grew up in.  We stopped for a few minutes to stretch our legs in this schoolyard.  Vero thought the entire school was abandoned considering the shape of some of the schoolyard equipment but I’m pretty sure I saw movement inside the school.

Every school needs some punching bags!

Nanny showing Sierra how to pass a ball

Sierra and Abbey raided the garden every day for tomatoes

Dad was SUPER excited to cut up some baloney for supper!

It turned out to be my birthday when I arrived into town!  Mom made the greatest orange cake in the world

I got to hang out at the big kids table along with Mom

All I wanted to do on the night of my birthday was to jam for the fine folks at the Patterson reunion.  And jammed we did!  We had John on guitars and Captain Kahone on the kahone.  That was a surprise appearance and brought the tunes to the next level!  I even got to set up the new Tascam recording unit to try it out.  I was super upset after a three hour jam session to find out that the SD card in the recording unit was full after 30 minutes!  I was not impressed.  There was a version of Crazy Train that will go down in the history of rock and roll and when I say go down in history, I mean in legend because no one captured that moment!  The next morning I went to The Source to pick up the largest SD card I could find.  Anyhow, I felt the jam session was a good start to the rest of the week.  My voice wasn’t used to singing that much and I could feel that it got a lot easier (and sounded better!) by the end of the week of jamming.  Sidenote: Captain Kahone and the Jokers is definitely a great band name.  Another sidenote: I love playing with John.  If I lived in Kapuskasing, I think there would be a dynamic duo out every week.

The next morning we went out and explored some family history.  This was a Miller family reunion and my grandmother is a Miller.  This structure behind us was an old house that the Millers lived in and it caught fire one day and here’s what’s left to it one hundred years later.

Here’s a shot of the actual fireplace, still intact!  I have a feeling not many people know about this structure otherwise I would assume we would find the regular amount of vandalism.

Vero said that if we wanted to buy a piece of land in Gaspé, this is the piece of land to purchase!  Look at the waterfront!

This may be a contender for a new photo over our mantle

Tomato sandwich moustache

Day Two had a mini golf tournament set up at Uncle Frankie’s place.  Here’s everyone listening to the very strictly enforced instructions

Sierra getting some practice swings in.  She’s pretty good!

Our team did pretty good!  By pretty good, I mean we did pretty good at cheating.  I still can’t believe we didn’t win.  There’s definitely another team out there that cheats more than us!

Uncle Fred and Mark showing up some of the prizes from the tournament

Dad is basically a magician to his grandkids

The next day we had all the time in the world to do some activities of our own so we went for a walk down on the boardwalk with Uncle Greg and Kim and Quinn.  This boardwalk is relatively new to the area and it looks like they put A LOT of money into it. 

Uncle Greg was telling me this structure cost $1M to put up.  It does double as a projection screen which is neat!  Supposedly there is live music down on this boardwalk every week and Nanny tends to go and check it out.

Sierra checking out the teepee.

On the boardwalk…boardwalk


Cool graffiti under the bridge

I can’t figure out if Abbey is intrigued or scared of the lobster!

Having some fun on the swing set while we waited for our order from Joanne’s chip stand

Poppa having fun with Sierra

Sierra is definitely a fan of hats!

The race is on!

A nice speech by Nanny at the official family gathering.  We had a good feast and it was nice to see friends and neighbours show up for a party afterwards.  It was quite hot and noisy in that hall!

We got Uncle Greg to snap this family photo.  THIS is probably the contender for the mantle this year!

Sierra loves walking with us and then falling to the ground so we have to yank her back up

I’m sure I’ll eventually get a hold of the official photo, but until then, here’s a sneak peek of all the family

Sierra at the beach!  Now, it’s very important to note that this was not her first time at the beach.  That happened earlier in the morning.  While Sierra generally was waking up between 7-8am, she somehow decided to wake up around 6am and was making some noise and all I could think about was “I have to get her out of the cottage now!!”  I scrambled to get some clothes on and brought her out to the car in her pajamas and hit the road.  Half a kilometer down the road I felt the need to go to the washroom.  Where the heck was I going to go?  I decided to double back, lock Sierra in the car, go into the cottage and then come back out.  I was worried to find Sierra screaming her head off, but it turns out she was doing fine with her Cheerios!  I would like to thank my wife for packing the diaper bag full of goodies.

Anyhow, I decided there was really only one place to go that early in the morning…we were off to Haldimand Beach!  When we arrived, I had to figure out what to dress Sierra in.  I wasn’t really thinking we were going to the beach this morning.  I ended up putting rubber boots on her, some splash pants, a sweatshirt and Vero’s fedora on her.  It was a motley assortment of clothing items!  I wish I had brought my camera with me.  It was a beautiful walk along the water.  Sierra didn’t really know what the heck was going on when the waves would come and hit her feet.  She was a little scared of it at first but by the end of the walk she was getting used to it.  We found some excellent beach glass and a couple of nice shells.  She really enjoyed bringing those back and showing them to everyone.  My bucket list for the trip was officially complete at that point because I was excited to introduce Sierra to what a beach was. 

Watch out for the waves!

It was quite the windy day at the beach

Fun at the park!

Uncle Greg and Aunt Mariette moved into a new house down in Gaspé.  When we went for a tour, we spied this interesting renovation choice in the bathroom!

I’m not even sure if this contraption actually got built with the amount of brain matter working on the job

Sierra sure loves her tomatoes!  This was taken the morning before we headed home

It was a rainy, cold drive back home for the first day.  We ended up stopping into an excellent restaurant along the way.  For the life of me I can’t remember which town it was.  At least they had games to keep Sierra entertained.

Sierra is a big help at the fromagerie that we stopped in for supper.  We were all getting a little tired of french fries and St Hubert (how is that even possible?!) so we picked up some sandwiches and other assorted goodies

Squeak squeak!

Fromagerie des Basques (Trois Pistoles) had a great picnic area where we could eat their food.  Look at the storm clouds coming in!

Of course we had to treat ourselves to an ice cream after supper!

We stayed at Motel au Fleuve D’Argent in Riviere-des-Loups and we hit the jackpot again.  It had a great view of the river and a fun play area for Sierra.  Plus we had our own personal mini-cabin which proved quite useful when I had to go to the washroom and couldn’t enter into the cabin in fear of waking up Sierra!  Our typical evening when traveling consists of putting Sierra to bed and then Vero and I hang outside until the time comes to go into the car and load some Netflix on the iPad along with some beers and potato chips.  I have to say motels are quite convenient compared to hotel rooms.  Would we just sit in there from 7PM not making a sound while Sierra slept?

Look where we stopped on the way back!

As soon as we got back to Ottawa, I was on a flight the next day to London, Ontario to hang out with these jokers.  I had originally planned to head to Chicago to see the Smashing Pumpkins but they ended up adding a tour date in London so I decided to hit that up with Troy and Rick instead! 

The start of an epic night!

We had some great seats near the stage.  The only issue was that certain elements of the show weren’t visible to us.  Not the end of the world considering the view we had.  Metric were great as always although they were road testing a bunch of their new songs which is always a tough sell when you are opening for a band.

There they are in all their thirty year glory…the Smashing Pumpkins! 

Here’s an example of how we couldn’t see the center screen sometimes.  Not a huge deal.  I’ll hunt down some visuals on YouTube.

Luckily everyone had a great time at the show.  I was worried since the Pumpkins usually are a hit or a miss with the casual fans.  They played for 3.5 hours (!!) and played all the hits and then some.  Rick and Troy were impressed.

I’ve seen the Smashing Pumpkins A LOT of times over the years.  Back in 1996 at the Maple Leaf Gardens, they sparked my love for live shows.  I have to say that this show was the best I’ve ever seen them.  I was shocked at how much the show moved me.  They’ve embraced what they are as a band over the past thirty years.  The past ten years have been a shocking time as a fan where Billy Corgan wouldn’t want to play many hits and wanted to forge a new path with new music.  Hey, I’m all for that…but embrace your heritage a little and give the fans what they want.  Well…they did and I would go see this show again in a heartbeat.  Hey, we even got a picture with the Zero statue at the end of the night!


After a night of debauchery, no one is entirely sure how this ended up in the kitchen.  I had a great time at Troy and Connie’s and we even managed to record a few songs while I was there.  Bonus!  Thanks for putting up with me!

Look at the fun Vero and Sierra were having while I was away!  Jon and Chantal’s annual corn roast was a hit!

When I got back into town we decided that we needed to see some beaches again so we went down to Petrie Island one morning.  The only issue I have with Petrie Island is that there are a LOT of geese there which leads to goose poop all over the place.  I need my salty air and not goose poop!

Family fun time!

What a blast from the past!  I got this birthday postcard from Trish in the mail!

The corn on the cob wasn’t the greatest this year (perhaps due to the sweltering heat?) but that didn’t stop us from enjoying some.

Nat was commenting at how awkward it is to be pregnant.  I didn’t understand until this happened at lunch.

It’s mid-August so that means it’s Festival des Curds out in St-Albert!  They had a petting zoo set up there so Sierra got to hang out with some kangaroos.

More importantly, we got to try out these awesome go-karts!  Check out how I whizzed by the competition.  It’s basically Mario Kart in real life.  Sierra threw a couple of turtle shells at the opponents.

Sierra enjoying her complimentary feed of cheese curds.

It took a LONG time for Sierra to get comfortable with the idea of getting in this bouncy castle.  I would say fifteen minutes were spent examining it.  But once she was in, she was enjoying it!

Who knew that if you showed up to festivals before noon they have kids’ entertainment?  Ari Qui Qui was entertaining.

After the festival and an afternoon nap, we went over to the neighbours for a birthday party (aka a hot tub party!!)  Sierra has really grown comfortable with the water.

The next day I was extremely hungover so it was a fortunate coincidence that we were invited over to Mike and Melissa’s pool for the morning.  A pool is a surprisingly great remedy!

Enjoying a nice lunch

I had to share this photo of Marty down in Florida.  I`m pretty sure this is an album cover in the future!

Figuring out the tricycle is a hard job

We headed out to Val-Des-Monts for Etienne and Nadine`s wedding.  While it rained off and on, it was a great evening full of adventures.  Félicitations!

Krista and Ben were nice enough to invite us over for a BBQ near the end of the summer.



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