Spring is here! Then it leaves. Then it comes back again. Then it leaves.
Everyone feels a little nostalgic when a birthday arrives and it’s no different when you start looking back at pictures of your kid over the past year. Sierra has really grown up in the past year, both physically (of course!) and mentally. It’s weird to think that she has been at the new daycare for the past seven months because it feels like forever. She has new skills that she has learned at the daycare that I didn’t even think of teaching her. You can count to ten in French AND English? Wow! You can button up your own shirt? Where did you learn that? You can beat Contra without the Konami code? Incroyable!
Unfortunately we all know that this is the end of the good years. She will become more self-aware and then lose a little magic each year. I witnessed this when she walked downstairs to see her third birthday party set up. She marvelled at the balloons, the banners…EVERYTHING. When’s the last time I stared in wonder at the balloons someone hung up for me? Probably 37 years ago!
But as we lose a little bit of the magic we gain a small human being who is able to speak in sentences and express her thoughts to us. The questions about the world are starting. It makes us look at the world differently. I listen for the birds chirping now so I can point it out to Sierra. If I hear the train in the distance I will make mention of it (if she doesn’t beat me to it!). I realize that Sierra is still at an age that playing with the bird bath in the front yard is as fun as going to an organized activity. Life is wonderful to her (except for when she doesn’t get her way which can happen quite fast. Oh wait, you wanted the blue spoon and not the yellow one?) and in turn it reminds me of how wonderful it is as well.
Sierra has had a great run of three years with us all alone. Now she’ll have to witness life with a new sibling coming in soon enough!
I figured I should write about a typical day in the life of Sierra for historical purposes while I’m sitting here thinking of what to write about.
6am – I get out of bed, roll up the blind and Sierra usually has her face still buried in her pillow but she sticks out her hand so I can grab it. She then pulls herself out of bed using my helping hand. I ask what she wants for breakfast. Lately it’s a combination oatmeal and cheerios. She always asks for hummus and ‘acquelins’ (crackers) which is generally reserved for the weekends. Her and I sit and eat while I read the news.
6:20 – 6:40 – I generally leave Sierra eating on her own as she takes her sweet time. While I hop in the shower Vero is handling trying to get Sierra to go to the bathroom and change her clothes. This generally has a 30% chance of happening before 6:50. That kid is slloooowwwww.
7am – Get into the car, go to the daycare, go inside and chat with the folks in there and leave Sierra in good company and friends.
The general schedule of a daycare day involves some snacks, some outdoor activities, a long nap after lunch and then some more activities until Vero and I show up between 4:45 and 5:30 to pick up Sierra. Six months ago it was IMPOSSIBLE to get her to leave! Now I would say some days it’s easy and others is kind of a pain. We can’t complain if she loves the place so much!
5:30 – 6:00 – Play time and then supper time.
6PM – Currently, if it’s Monday through Wednesday, we will put Passe-Partout on for Sierra to watch. It’s interesting to see a new version of this show many years after the original. Vero even knows one of the actresses in the show. Sierra really loves that show. She doesn’t really care for the old one though which is a shame since I got those from Maureen and I can play them at any time.
6:15-6:45 – Bathtime which is always a pain to get into, but then she never wants to leave! We then brush our teeth and get some pyjamas. Sierra is really good at putting on her own pyjamas these days…she can even handle putting the buttons on!
6:45 – 7:15 – Dora the Explorer has been on heavy rotation for the past few months. In fact she loves it so much that we are starting to use it as a bargaining chip. “Oh, you didn’t go to the bathroom in the potty like you should? No Dora tonight.” “You didn’t come to supper when we asked you to? No Dora tonight.” She’s starting to understand her actions have consequences. Am I evil? Nah, I still let her watch another tv show, just not Dora.
7:15-7:30 – Bedtime! This generally involves reading a book, a glass of water and hitting the sack.
Now onto the photos which every one loves.
I don’t think this is what you’re supposed to do with bubbles!
Hanging out with Jenna and Janice.
I saw this on the kitchen counter at work. No joke!
If it wasn’t for the smile on her face, I could see this as a scene from a horror movie.
Sierra and I get spoiled by Maman when she picks us up some olives.
Sierra helping me make a cake from scratch for Trish. I found out later that not even Trish makes her cakes from scratch!
While I was tending to the fire, Ethan handled pushing Sierra on the swing.
The cake turned out pretty decent even though I forgot to add a cup of water! It was almost like a brownie without it. Also note the obligatory Star Wars shirt on May the 4th!
I had a laugh when Ethan asked me to take a photo of this stick on the couch.
Trish’s birthday was a hit! She was pretty lucky this year…I think she went to a dozen different parties in her honour.
Vero and I spent Saturday and Sunday evening hanging up these new lights across the deck. This photo has a few more strands than we ended up with. It was WAY too bright. But this photo gives you a sense of what it looks like.
I love how Sierra insisted on wearing her elf hat to the park. I think this might have been the first time I saw her go down the big slide.
Having a good bbq with some friends.
Sierra was having the greatest time on the trampoline!
One day I’ll win the caption contest! But not today.
Someone was VERY excited for supper.
Showing off her chalk-artwork.
Vero was gone to the spa one morning so Sierra and I decided to drop by some friends (aka we wanted a free lunch). We played outside for a bit and I also played guitar for a few tunes. Thanks for the food and company!
Pretty amazing that I caught this moment on video! The first time she managed to get the top of a box put on correctly!
Picking up some new furniture for Sierra’s room.
Sierra sure loves her new raincoat.
I was dying of laughter when I realized that the farting noises from the other side of the room was Sierra making noises with her mouth. I thought she may have snuck of plate of beans to bed!
The May long weekend used to be held at Matt’s cottage where copious amounts of beers were drank amongst college pals. Now it’s spent drinking copious amounts of beers but with family! We rented a house in Haileybury, ON to meet up with Vero’s family. They brought the family tricycle down for Sierra (this thing has literally been everyone’s tricycle when they were growing up!) and here is a shot of Andreane helping Sierra before she fell over. Luckily she is a trooper and got right back up!
This photo doesn’t even do justice to the moon that was out during our campfire on Friday night.
We headed out for a hike to Devil’s Rock. I was struggling to figure out a way to make an hour long hike up a mountain a fun affair for Sierra as well as for myself (aka, I don’t feel like carrying her up all the way). Awhile ago on Facebook I spied this fantastic device called the piggyback rider. I was a little scared of spending a lot of money on something that I didn’t know if Sierra would enjoy but she did! I would say she rode half way up the mountain with me and a quarter of the way on the way back down.
As you can see in the photo, Sierra can hop onto my back by putting her feet across a bar and then she holds onto a few straps on my shoulders. Don’t worry, there is also a safety harness on her that clips in so if she jumps off, she’s not going too far. I give this device two thumbs up. I can see us using this in a variety of spots…going downtown, going grocery shopping. It makes travelling around fun. It’s also quite lightweight…nothing much to it so it folds up quite nicely.
View from up top! I had a good laugh when I was taking in all this scenery and I felt my phone vibrate. My friend was texting to let me know that we won $40 on a lotto ticket! I wrote back saying it would have been a better interruption if she texted to say we won $40 million!
Out of nowhere we hear this helicopter come over the mountain and it was hauling a piece of equipment that I cannot identify. Does anyone know what the heck this is? It was pretty incredible to see.
The hike down consisted of many breaks and playing with sticks.
I’ve been trying to convince Andreane that this should be her dating profile picture.
We had some fun at the park right next to our house. 1-2-3 Go!
Evan showing Sierra how to swing.
Having fun at the park before the rain came back. It rained Saturday evening, and then poured Sunday afternoon and all day when driving home.
Vero will kill me once she sees that I put a video of her practising the fiddle up for the world to see.
Sunday afternoon we decided to celebrate Sierra’s birthday a few weeks early.
She received a dog which eats and poops. I don’t know if I think this idea is marvelous or hideous!
She winked at the camera without being asked!
When Maman asked why kind of cake she wanted she replied “Blanc et ‘ocolat!”
She was pretty excited to get a slice of birthday cake and have everyone sing for her!
Why do we even bother trying to get a good photo? Kids photos are hilarious.
I can’t believe I didn’t record this night! I had the equipment and everything. Was it my best night ever? No, but there was some good moments. I had to start the night off with more rocking tunes for the kids and then mellowed out with the older stuff.
Setlist: Happy, Spider-Man, Hail to the King, Crazy Train, Another Brick in the Wall (Gaetan requested this out of nowhere! I had never even tried to play it before. It didn’t come out to bad!), Money (another hard one to pull out without practice!) Copperhead Road, Bongo Bongo, Island in the Sun (first time I attempted this one and I think it went quite well!), Hash Pipe (I abandoned this one as it was too hard to do without practice), Back to the Sea, The Gambler, Sylvia’s Mother, Sweet Caroline, Midnight Special.
Here’s Gaetan playing some accordion the morning before we headed back to Ottawa. It rained most of the way but cleared up around Deep River. Quite amazing how the entire weekend hovered around six degrees and we found ourselves back in Ottawa with 20 degrees! But we had a lot of fun. We hiked, we played in the park, we had way too much food and drink, we had a hot tub in the rain, and we managed to sneak in a night of guitar playing. All in all, a success!
Sierra couldn’t wait to eat the corn after she husked it!
The Great Glebe Garage Sale was a major success. Vero found some doll clothing at the second house we visited and shortly after Sierra found this Dora The Explorer lunch box…brand new!
We only spent a few hours at the garage sale but hauling around a wagon slows us down these days anyhow. It was a beautiful morning and we filled the wagon up which is what counts. Vero and my first date was at the garage sale so I’m glad to see that she is still by my side after fourteen years and hasn’t found some hot Australian firefighter who likes garage sales.
Mom and Dad were touring Canada and the United States of America during the month of May and I had a good laugh when I saw this picture of Mom riding a jakalope!
Nine years later we finally got air conditioning installed into the bedrooms. Since we don’t have ducts in the house we had to install ductless ones. The savings account took a hit of $7,000! But the world is warming up so we may well stay cool when we can.