• Driveway sealing #2

    For historical reference, we paid $700 tax included to get the driveway sealed.  They did start out the with a $900 price tag but balked at that one trying to remember what we paid the last time.  They did say that a ‘water based’ sealant was applied last time and that’s why it wasn’t good anymore.

    That’s probably a bunch of malarkey.

  • Thoughts about Ezra

    I feel as time goes by I get slower and slower at updating this website and then I fear that I will forget little details about my children that I want documented!

    Until I get around to updating a few things, I thought I would just chat about Ezra at this point in his life.

    Ezra is 20 months old.

    Currently I get to take care of him a lot in the mornings and then Vero takes over in the afternoons.  Sierra stays in her room for the most part taking school but Ezra is VERY excited when he sees her emerge from her room.

    He’s a really loving child.  He will go and hug Sierra when she comes out of her room.  He waddles over to her at full speed and practically collapses in her arms.

    He’s really good at walking these days.  We even took him in the forest the other day and managed to navigate branches without falling over too much.  That being said, I still don’t understand how he can just be walking around the kitchen sometimes and do a complete wipeout!  I blame his socks.

    His vocabulary is really getting good.  He says thank you when we pass him something.  The other day I asked him if he wanted to stay in his chair or get down and he replied with get down!  I think last night I heard him say bedroom.  He can definitely say Maman and something that resembles Dad but not enough for me to notice sometimes.  I feel sometimes that all his words sound like he is underwater but I’m assuming he’s just learning to enunciate.  I can’t remember what Sierra was like when she was learning to speak.

    I laugh sometimes at how much of a different force of nature he is compared to Sierra.  The other day when we were all out looking for worms in a rainstorm, Sierra wanted to pick up worms on a stick and move them over to a puddle.  Ezra wanted to squash them all with his boot which resulted in Sierra screaming “Nooooo!” like when Darth Vader was born.

    Life with Ezra has become significantly easier compared to last year.  We no longer have to have portions of the back patio fenced off to prevent him from falling six inches.  He now climbs up and down the stairs like a champ and wanders around the yard and we aren’t overly worried about him.  We did start closing one gate near the garage so he doesn’t wander off to the front yard without us.  We always have an eye on him but you never know where they go when you are handling the BBQ for a few minutes.

    He really loves his swing set and whenever we ask if he wants to get down he says No.  In fact, he replies no  quite a bit these days but it makes sense when he says it.  I don’t think he has mastered yes yet but if we ask him something and he doesn’t say no then we know he probably wants to say yes!

    Ezra enjoys watching anything large like trucks driving by.  Our weekly voyage to the grocery store parking lot results in us staring and waving to the cars as they drive around.  In fact, he waves at every car that goes by and people are generally nice enough to wave back!  He also likes hearing the train going by in the distance and tries to say choo choo.

    Now that I’ve started livestreaming concerts with the family, I bring out the guitar quite a bit more and he loves it.  When I say “Guitar?” his eyes light up and he runs to the guitar case, opens it up and proceeds to pass me two picks, a capo and my pedal.  Then he strums the guitar for about three tunes and gets tired of that.  He’s becoming quite good at strumming!

    He loves bathtime with his sister but I’m not sure she loves getting buckets of water dumped over her head all the time!  He has to figure out those fine motor skills because a bucket of water over the head usually results in him bonking the bucket into her nose or head half the time!

    He is really enjoying reading these days.  He is starting to choose new books to listen to, but then he also has his routine of reading a book about Boots and Je T’aimes de la tête au pieds”.  Recently he really likes Garbage Delight (which I’m delighted about!)

    To the jealousy of many other parents out there, he is a great sleeper.  He has an afternoon nap which lasts between 1-2 hours and he heads to bed around 7:15PM and wakes up anywhere between 7 and 7:30pm without much trouble during the night.  He tosses and turns once in awhile but I can’t remember many times that he actually wakes up.

    He is a very happy kid and there is always a smile on his face.  I even managed to get a good picture of him laughing the other day which I love.

    Overall, we are happy with his development and he makes me feel old some days but I manage to get some energy to horse around with him as much as I can because in about five years time, he’ll have no interest in me!  Ha ha.

  • Sierra’s 57th month

    First skate of the year!

    Maman teaching Sierra how to get up

    Learning checkers

    Some days I feel that Sierra wants to go on her adventures without her brother.  This was one of those days I felt that so we brought some snowshoes and went over to the Castor River area to traipse through the snow.  We had a lot of fun as it was a nice day.

    Taking a break with a thermos of hot chocolate

    Everyone has trouble getting up after falling!

    Measuring different quantities of snow for school.

    I’m not sure what Sierra was supposed to draw here!

    Ice cube experiment

    The Besnard Lakes came out with a new album this year which is fantastic and they had three livestream events which were equally fantastic!

    Getting pretty good at whisking eggs!

    Making some Valentine’s cookies.  I’m pretty sure we ate all but one of them by Valentine’s Day!

    We all thought it would be a funny idea to bury Maman and Dad.  I couldn’t handle it at one point but Vero quite liked it!

    Hopscotch!

    I always laugh when I see that some form of food is on the schedule for school.  I always figure the teacher just needs to make it for her kids so she has everyone else do it with her!  Smart.

    Benoit tipped me off that the hot thing that is selling on the market were these old Marvel cards that I collected.  In fact, these cards were the things that actually got me into collecting comic books!  Anyhow, when I was younger I always thought everything I purchased would be worth money so of course I was interested in selling some!

    In the end, the bubble burst as fast as I entered it.  I think this Deadpool card was selling for $80.  To put that into context, I paid $1.25 in 1991 for the X-Force #1 comic book that the card came in.  That’s quite the profit!

    I did end up selling this card a week later.  It sold for $45.  Let’s subtract $15.40 to ship it.  I offered free shipping.  Let’s also remove the $5.09 for the Ebay fees.  I also bought some hard plastic protectors.  Let’s say that’s a $1 each.  So I ended up with a profit of $23.51.  Not too bad considering it was a card that came in a comic book for $23.51.  But making that profit does put things into perspective at 42 years old.  Is my time worth $23.51?  Let’s imagine I put an hour of effort into taking photos, posting the thing, answering any questions, packaging it, driving to the post office and sending it off. 

    As I grow older and older I have come to realize that my time is worth money and unless I’m going to make a LOT of profit on something, it’s probably not worth my time.  Perhaps it’s something that I can hand down to my kids to sell and they can make money from it.

    Cute!

    Before bed one night Sierra wanted to show me all her funny faces

    I can’t stop laughing at this one!

    Once in awhile Sierra and Maman have a picnic snack

    I think Sierra wanted a picture of someone who is scared

    We are very fortunate to have great friends.  Mike, Melanie and Max let us use their ice rink while they were away.

    A helping hand

    Sunny day at the rink

    One of our favourite trails around us now has ‘No Trespassing’ signs on it which is a bummer.  But we stumbled upon another trail system and they even have little signs of the mini trails set up!  We have a feeling this is a school project they did one day and we love it!  

    GTs are not that easy to lug around!

    Vero got me these keychains for Valentine’s Day.  One says “I love you” and the other says “I know” (from Empire Strikes Back).  I was joking the other day that the better response would be “This is the way.” which is from The Mandalorian.  She modified the keychain after she heard me laughing about this idea.  I love Vero!

    A shield has to be made and Maman had the brilliant idea to repurpose a pizza box!

    You can see the thought of winning dance in her eyes.

    Sierra attempting the hill herself

    Hanging out in the snowbank with my girl

    Sierra wanted to take a photo of us so we decided for the creepy photo shoot.

    I can’t remember what this day was.  I think it was hat and tie day, or pink day.

    Oh now I remember!  It was the virtual winter carnival at school and people had to wear hats and ties!

    Pretty amazing how many cards Nanny Ruth ended up with her 90th birthday.  I think the final total was close to 170?

    Hanging out in the fort

    Fun with a spray bottle, food colouring and snow

    Sierra BEGGED to sleep on the floor overnight in her fort.  I really didn’t think it would work but she insisted.  I’m glad I gave in pretty easy because two minutes after the lights went out she came to her senses and moved into bed.  Imagine if I would have been arguing with her for 30 minutes?

     

     

     

  • Ezra’s 18th month

    Ezra loves playing with his sister when she is done her school in the morning.  You can also see that he is starting to converse when we ask him questions.  Do we know what he is saying?  Nope.  But it’s fun.  You also see that they are watching the Friendly Giant which they are fond of.

    It’s a pretty exciting day when a new Star Wars shirt enters the house!!

    Ezra sure loves a game of Musical Thunderstruck

    Our typical routine has us finishing up our bath around 7PM and Ezra gets his bottle of milk before bed.  Here were the kids sneaking in a story in the living room instead of their bedrooms before Ezra headed off to bed.  Vero has a good routine with him for bed that I have learned.  First there are goodnight kisses from Sierra and Dad.  Then there’s a routine where Maman puts him in his bedroom and he tries to escape while screaming down the hall until Maman runs and picks him up.  He has a really good laugh at that.

    Then the sleepsack comes on with some tickle time so he’s laughing before settling in for the night.  As I type this there are two books on constant rotation in his rocking chair….Boots and Je t’aimes de la tete aux pieds which is always a fun one.  Then the light goes off and a little humming of a tune (my favourite is the Friendly Giant song which I know is some classical music piece that I cannot remember right now) and then put into the crib.  He is a really great little boy and sleeps through the night most nights.  Apologies to all the parents out there giving me the dagger eyes when thinking of their own children’s sleeping habits.

    I am not entirely sure why I took a photo of this mayonnaise but I may as well profess my love of it right here, right now.  My go-to breakfast these days has been a pumpernickel bagel with this mayonnaise and some tomato with salt and pepper.  Sierra is even helping me make it these days which is pretty good.  I did have to teach her the limit of three shakes to the salt and pepper as I got a LOT of salt one morning!

    Having fun before supper.  Maybe I was trying to take a photo of my new Pearl Jam shirt that I had forgotten about in the garage for a month?

    This kid does NOT have it easy in the winter.  It’s very hard to move around!

    No wonder he doesn’t like winter, look at his sister dumping snow in his hood!  Also, I have fond memories of the month of January and February when we got dumped on with snow.  I was excited that winter had finally arrived compared to the Green Christmas we had.

    Someone wanted to help knock snow off of the trees

    Warming up some cold hands

    Someone loves Dad’s hat!

    A perfect winter day – with hot chocolate and mild temperatures

    Hot chocolate was a constant request from the kids (and Maman!) this winter

    Reading

    Hockey

    Ezra loves this music machine that hangs on the fridge.  You can see he understands what we are asking him to do as well.  He’s also getting really good at being on the couch.  We only have to watch out a few times when he’s going for a tumble.

    Ezra has some strong muscles!  This was probably taken after our morning walk.  We try and get out whenever it is not too cold.

    Stopping for an icicle treat

    Ezra really likes to help me get the guitar out of the case and pass me the guitar picks and as you can see, he likes stepping on the guitar pedal below!  That thing probably won’t survive the winter!  You can also see in this photo that I am playing my 12 string which I haven’t done so in years.  I actually have downtuned it a full step which is easier on the the neck and I got a really strong capo.  I’m really enjoying the 12-string guitar these days even though I don’t have a built in tuner like my other guitar Ruth does.

    My good pal Danny built this zamboni for his rink this winter.  I thought it was the cats meow.

    Someone REALLY LOVES pushing his cart around and picking up toys.

    Looking for a toy.  We don’t spend too much time downstairs so it’s a treat for Ezra when we do go down there.

    Ezra is surprisingly stable on this GT and there have been many mornings where we go for a walk and we are pulling him on this.

    Spider-Man in the house!

    This was taken on one of the coldest weekends of the year.  We still managed to go outside a few times but it’s pretty hard to keep positive in -35!

    Ezra loves pushing the mop around

    A bunch of Ezra’s teeth finally showed up

    Riding the train

    Trying to learn Rabbit Foo Foo

    First skate of the year came pretty late in January.  Not sure if it was the best idea to bring Ezra there without a helmet.  We brought one the next time.  Not sure if he liked the ice.  It’s hard to understand the concept of slowing down on ice when walking!

    He wanted to wear this helmet around the house

    Maman showing us how to skate.  We were in awe.

    I like the look of a house that is clearly happy it’s winter.  Sleds and shovels all around, little snow hills being built. 

    I had a good laugh when I came into the room and Ezra was rocking out to Megadeth

    Nice headband

    My cousin grew his hair out so we started exchanging photos of each other to compare.  At this point I would say it’s been a year without a haircut.

    Ezra enjoys the Wookiee book

    The fortress of stools

    I had a good laugh at this.  Man I miss poutine.  I miss buying lunch!!

    Ezra now only takes an afternoon nap and once in awhile he’s lucky enough to have a lot of smiling faces when he awakes!

    Ezra is pretty ticklish

    There was a birthday in the neighbourhood so we spruced up the sled and walked by their house

    Oh, festivals

    I love this shirt

    We buried Maman in the snow!

    Someone figuring out how the camera works

    These two are pretty close

    Ready to roll Dad!

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Sierra’s 56 month

    Sierra wanted to add a new decoration to the tree

    Queen of the hill

    I wasn’t looking forward to playing with this stuff because I thought it would be gooey but it was surprisingly not!

    A hot chocolate and a stroopwafel is the best treat after some time outdoors.  I didn’t even realize that we were supposed to put it on top of our cup to soften until I read the instructions one day

    Sierra loving her new socks, scarf and mitts from Nanny Ruth

    Surprisingly these tattoos must have lasted a few weeks!

    Over the holidays I ordered a Nintendo Switch and I was trying to find some games that Sierra would enjoy.  I ended up getting a Just Dance game with a song from Frozen on it.  Not going to lie, I was tearing up a little when I saw how much she enjoyed playing video games!

    Trying out the new hockey sticks and net

    I had a good laugh at this typo from Uncle Greg and Aunt Mariette

    Snow rumble!

    Here’s a new type of Operation game where you have to get some dog food from his mouth to his butt.  It even has fart sounds!

    Who said Facebook advertising doesn’t pay off?  I saw this on an advertisement in Facebook and I thought “This thing looks incredible!”  They are stackrobats where you have to stack them up into different positions.  Very hard and very entertaining.

    Snowman

    I figure this sign must be 50 years old!  Found on the Cumberland forest trail.  I think it used to be a snowmobile trail or perhaps it actually is and was closed while we were on it

    I am a huge fan of oral histories and this book does not disappoint

    Sierra wanted me to pose with Buzz and the Octopus

    If there’s one thing I don’t like in life, it’s gooey stuff.  Sure enough we had to do some gooey science experiment for school which somehow did not work properly.  Lovely. 

    Now winter was finally here!  That bird bath had no snow on it the night before

    We were showing Sierra the old Fredo videos we had made.  She had a good laugh

    Someone snapped this lovely winter wonderland photo

    If you see bigfoot tracks around your yard, it may be Sierra

    I’m not sure what’s going on here but I think she had to construct a ski hill

    The activities for the month of January have been very ice and snow based.  Here is a hockey rink that she had to make.

    View from the comfy chair

    I think this may have been a lava lamp experiment

    Maman showing us how it’s done

    It must have been that extra push that Sierra gave me that made me bail off the GT sno racer at the end!  There is no video of the next time I went down but I didn’t make it over the jump and I ended up going straight back onto my back and I smacked my head pretty hard on the snow!  It hurt for a few days.  Ouch!

    Sierra going for the jump

    Sierra likes to make slow motion videos of eating spaghetti

     

    Windchill off of GT snow racer: -26
    Windchill on GT snow racer: – 61
    This thing can fly!
  • Ezra’s 17th month

    If you missed this bit in the 2020 Holiday Special, here it is again…Ezra laughing at me making a popping sound

    I bet Ezra thought walking inside the house was hard enough…I feel bad for him in the snow!

    Going for a sleigh ride

    I, too, have wasted hours playing ‘pick up this piece of paper’

    Ezra is getting old enough that he is able to climb up on the couch himself quite easily.  This has added some stress into the household because he likes to get near the edge and peer over.  Here is Sierra sitting next to him to protect him from doing a flying leap off of the couch

    These two get silly before bedtime

    Dress up day

    He must be copying my drunken sailor dance moves

    Waiting for baseball to start up

    One last visit to the Castor River before it gets too cold

    They found a great log to sit on

    Ezra and his snack chair.  At least we try and get him to sit in his chair to eat a snack.  At this point of the game, he can walk around the house whenever he pleases so he doesn’t sit too long in one spot

    Building some strength

    Probably watching Passe Partout before bathtime

    Look at the excitement on his face!  After this video was taken, I bring him down to play piano a lot more now

    First time Ezra ever saw a walking snowman

    Hunting mice

    I’ve been playing a lot of guitar with Ezra and this is a common sitting spot for him while looking out the window

    We checked out a trail in the Cumberland Forest on the way to Limoges (there’s actually two completely different trails labelled as the Cumberland Forest, one on your way to Limoges and one on Frank Kenny) which was a nice trek but not too many hills to slide down.

    If we put a plow on the front of this car it could clean up toys well

    Getting in the Christmas spirit

    Master Yoda teaching arithmetic

    New pyjamas from Grandma and Poppa on Christmas Eve

    Ezra loved his box that he got

    Ezra looks very impressed on Christmas morning.  “Why do I have to wear this hat again Maman?”

    Vroom vroom

    Ezra liked putting up the stickers on the window

    This is how Maman has to drink her hot chocolate on Christmas morning

    I feel this pose will be good in their teenage years

    Relaxing before the turkey preparation

    I was super upset that there was no snow on Christmas day.  But we made the most of it.  Santa had brought Sierra a jump rope so we were showing her how to use it.  I wish I had a time machine to go back to this moment and tell me NOT to do this!  I think jumping in my winter boots really messed up my hips and back for the next week.  It must have been the impact of landing really hard on my feet in those boots.  I’m glad that I’m ok now!

    It’s not often in the winter that we can bring the kids into the hot tub but if the thermometer is above zero, we go for it.  Even if it is Christmas day!

    It’s fun to bring out new toys for Ezra that we may have forgotten we have.  He really enjoyed playing on this xylophone

    Mmm boy!

    La buche de noel!

    This was a pretty neat car racing set that we let the kids open before bedtime.  That was a bad move.  We course-corrected the next day and only had gift opening anytime before supper.  Yes, this was another year where we opened up a few gifts a day across the holidays.

    Ezra giving zerberts through a shirt

    Helping shovel

    Sierra is pretty fast at pulling Ezra on the sleigh!

    Who needs a sled when you have a scoop?

    A boy and Battlecat

    Ezra trying out his new hockey stick

    Quite the interesting ice coming off the roof of the shed

    Have to brush off the car as we don’t park both in the garage any longer

    “How you doin’?”

    I was pretty pumped to get a print of this family portrait of the Hilarious House of Frightenstein as the original print run was sold out.  What a great show!

    Nowadays my day consists of hanging out with Ezra in the morning while getting some work done on the workphone.  This was probably the scene of a videoconference between Ezra, myself and a colleague

    Hill!

    Ezra’s new favourite item

     

     

  • Sierra’s 55th Month

    Look who is winning at Candy Land!

    This must have been some advanced physics class going on here.

    Icing some Christmas cookies

    Hanging the stockings

    I’m sure one day we will look at this photo and say “Remember when we had to lift Sierra to put up ornaments?”

    Advent calendar!

    Sierra testing out her photo taking skills

    Almost there!

    Not sure if Ezra knows that his face can’t go through there

    Who didn’t want a guitar at Christmas?  I remember getting a 12 string guitar for Christmas which was pretty amazing.  In fact, that came back into my possession recently and it’s my go-to guitar now!

    For years I was looking for some poseable hands for my stormtrooper costume.  I was mentioning this to a friend and he found these on Amazon for me.  They worked out pretty good!

    Glove on

    Blam!  Pretty good!  Sometimes the weight of the rifle brings the arms down but it’s pretty good!  Also, my team really enjoyed the Christmas themed trooper costume in the backyard of my video conferences.

    Sierra and Maman filling up the birdfeeder

     I love how the marshmallow dwarfs the hot chocolate.

    Having kids has finally paid off!  While I can sip on a beer, Sierra wants to assemble the Christmas cards!

    The Grinch has arrived!

    Hanging out with Rudolf and friends

    I had a good laugh at this!

    Ha!  I forgot about this one!

    Sierra has been learning about the nativity scene at school so she was telling me the names of all the people

    I was thinking with an inch of snow Sierra could walk next to me, but nope.  I’m glad I brought the sled.

    Christmas is officially on!

    New look?  Nah.  Vero wanted to see how it looked.

    Always great to have people drop by for a quick visit!

    Across from the mailbox is this house with the most amazing Christmas decorations.  The kids love seeing them.

    Christmas Eve!

    Christmas Eve always brings out Mom’s sausage dip

    Christmas morning brought me a great gift from Sierra

    Your brother’s gifts are always more exciting than your own!

    Sierra playing with her new camera

    Some kind of neat weight game where you put the number 2 on one side and then put 2 monkeys on the other and it balances out

    This was a really good whiskey from my parents.  St Pierre!  I’m glad Dad called and reminded me that I hid it in my closet months ago.

    Having fun on a new toy

    Playing a new card game

    Mom called me a few months ago and reminded me that my old Legos were still at home.  I just assumed that they were property of Kapuskasing but no, I could have them!  So they sent a few down for Sierra to play with.  It was really great to see the old Legos that I grew up with.

    We tried out a new trail in Cumberland Forest and I’m trying to remember why I was carrying Sierra at this point.  I think there were some thorn bushes that her and I got trapped in.

    We actually went far enough down the trail to find an official geocache that a friend had tipped us off on!  I didn’t think we would get that close but sure enough, there it was!  Pretty neat!

     

  • The 2020 Holiday Special

    Sitting at home wondering what to do tonight?

    Tired of what Netflix has to offer?

    Wondering what we’ve been up to?

    Want to see inside the chaos of two parents and two young kids?

    We might have what you need.

    35 minutes of holiday fun…The 2020 Holiday Special!  Grab a drink, sit back on your couch and press play when you want to have a good laugh around the holidays!

    Joyeux Noel!

    *updated* Now with a little more Christmas traditions from Nanny Ruth at the end of the video*

     

  • Ezra’s 16th Month

    He’s getting really good at climbing up and down the stairs!  You really have to remind him to go down feet first.  I find it hilarious that sometimes he’ll throw his entire body down onto the ground two feet before the steps, swivel and scoot backwards.  I guess he’s still going feet first!

    Ezra found a new chair

    Setting up the Christmas lights before the snow hits us

    Ezra was pretty amazed with the Christmas lights.  Even as I type this a few months later (I am becoming horrible for keeping these posts updated), Vero has asked me to keep the Christmas lights on after Christmas because he likes looking at them from his bedroom window when she is rocking him to sleep.

    Sierra insisted we bring some bacon dippers along for a snack so Ezra got to hold the box for our walk around the block.

    Hanging out at the park.  Quite muddy!

    Ezra discovering how the bell works

    Everyone loves the “Where’s Ezra?” game

    Ezra decided to jump around like a frog one evening

    I wanted to find some really simple musical shows to entertain Ezra.  Why not go back to my youth?  I found some episodes of Mr. Dressup on YouTube and they are as fantastic as I remember them.  I really think about the people who are children’s entertainers and how much fun it must have been to go to work each day and come up with fun little things to do for a television audience.  Ezra seems to enjoy it.  I think he prefers The Friendly Giant a little more as there is more music in that one.

    I think this is one of the four snowsuits that we tried out with Ezra this winter before settling on one which wasn’t a pain to get him into.  I remember this being a one piece except for the boots and the ends were VERY TIGHT so it was near impossible to get his boots on.  This suit might have lasted two weeks.

    While not a mighty front yard hill, it’s enough for Ezra

    The season’s first snowman!  I’m pretty sure the bottom of this snowman still exists even after the thaw a few weeks later

    Ezra is starting to like to read by himself.  You will see him pick up a book and babble on as he is turning pages.  I wonder what things he is actually saying when he reads these out loud?

    This must be around lunch time where I refuse to go outside because I’m preparing lunch but they want to go out!

    I am sensing a trend here…Ezra likes using people as chairs!

    Storytime

    On November 28, 2020, Ezra successfully climbed onto the couch by himself.  And so starts the era of “OH MY LORD WE HAVE TO CATCH HIM FALLING OFF THE COUCH!” that all parents love.

    The snow was fun for a week and then it left us

    I feel like this is a scene out of Mario Kart

    My sister sent over a Friends themed Advent calendar for Vero.  It was pretty good!  We will re-use it for the future.

    Mario Kart

    No one can escape the Sierra monster!

    Might be the highlight of the Galaxy of Adventures line of Star Wars toys!  I really enjoy this figure.  Too bad they cancelled the line.  I enjoyed the look of these ones.

    Need to teach Sierra proper focus techniques but at least she is framing us well

    I don’t much about trees and berries and birds.  I thought it was very strange to see birds go after berries in December.  I always thought berries grow in the spring?

    Pretty sure Ezra’s brain exploded when he saw all the Christmas decorations come out

    Ah, the annual right of passage…trying to figure out how to light up the Christmas tree.

    Much like houses with pets, we had to keep the nice ornaments a little out of reach

    Christmas card photo shoot.  While we had a little motion blur, this was the one we chose for our card this year due to the excitement!

    Helping a brother out

    The start of a Grinch themed Christmas village

    Ezra really likes dancing to the house music

    Sierra testing out the camera

    Hanging out with Rudolf

    This year the community association had a drive-thru Santa gift exchange where the kids could see and wave to Santa from the car

    Ezra likes to spend time around the lights before bedtime

    Mailing the most important letter of the year…the one to Santa Claus!

    Ezra really likes his dog guitar

    Helping out with the snowfall.  This outfit was the snowsuit which worked the best over the winter

    A nice afternoon with Maman outside.  Vero tries to bring the kids out each afternoon when the temperatures are warmer.

    Years of not visiting an optometrist finally caught up with Vero

     

     

     

     

  • Sierra’s 54th Month

    Li’l tree climber

    Sierra trying to figure out what she would wear on Hallowe’en

    This kid’s costume is great and practical on a cold Hallowe’en afternoon!

    I love how the kids had to get their candy up a ladder and them come down into a bunch of leaves at our friends house!

    Searching for candy around our yard.  It felt like Easter!

    Sierra learning how to play cribbage

    Hanging out before bedtime

    Not a lot of snow for the first snowfall but enough to try out a snow angel.  Every time I write the word angel I always think of the story of Grandpa Sidney writing to Nanny Ruth and in the letter he wrote something like “Dear angle face.”  Hahaha!

    I’m not sure why we took this picture…maybe it was to say thank you to Aunt Maureen and Uncle John for sending up some cheese from Kapuskasing?  Regardless, looks like she approves!

    While I don’t think the reality was as colourful as this, it’s great to see Sierra colouring within the lines!

    A great video if you like to hear the audience cry!

    I’m not generally excited when I have to pull together items for school but when I saw that she had to build a fort I was giddy!  This would be her first fort as I never thought of building one with her!  She was quite excited about it.  I can’t recall but I’m pretty sure this was on a Friday and she kept it up all weekend.

    Learning how to play hopscotch

    We might have to book a dentist appointment sooner than later

    While she looks like she is having fun here, this was her trying to run away from me trying to take a nice photo of us at the park!

    Castor River area looks quite different when all the leaves have fallen

    Victory!

    Sierra’s first sour candy

    When working from home I try and take an afternoon walk.  I have fond memories of a few of those days where Sierra joined me so she could eat a stroopwaffel with me.

    Sierra helping me with the Christmas lights.  You know, every year that tree gets in my way more and more and I think “Why don’t I just cut this whole thing down?”

    Warming up after a cold morning outside

    I believe I sent this photo to my sister saying “I never realized how important these holes in the spatula were until I was making grilled cheese sandwiches and I could just lift them up and peer under the spatula.”

    Every time I see Sierra playing with these things I remember my Dad marvelling at how better they were compared to Legos.

    Flu shot at the doctor’s office was a big success!  I can’t remember when we started getting Sierra used to the mask (maybe months before this?) where we would say she could have iPad time if she wore a mask.  I guess it paid off since she didn’t put up too much of a fuss.  Also, Sierra is always a champ when getting shots.  Very brave!

    A month before Christmas and the drawings start!  I even entered this one in the Departmental holiday card contest.  I took a look at the other entries from 4 year olds and I have to say either a) Sierra is way behind on her drawing abilities compared to other kids or b) kids get a lot of help from their parents whereas Sierra doesn’t get much at all!  I love how she cut some of the drawing up to glue onto the page.

    Slomoslide!

    That fan that I fixed up was making a vibration noise in Sierra’s room so I finally crawled back up into the attic to figure out what I could do.  At first moving it around wasn’t doing much of anything.  It almost seemed like the vibration was coming from within.  What was I to do?  I noticed that if I really hauled upwards on it the noise stopped so I ended up putting a tie-down strap onto it and it seemed to fix it!  Not the most elegant solution but winter is coming and I don’t feel like hanging out in the attic more than I have to.  I’ve been thinking of getting more insulation in the attic and I have a feeling this unit will have to be completely moved somewhere else anyhow so I can deal with that next year.

    Cruising around

    More snow, yay!

    The San Diego Comic Con went virtual with their exclusive merchandise this year so when I saw this I knew I had to have it.  Let me tell you, this has become THE item of laughter on video conferences for work.  Whenever someone mentions something facepalm worthy I exit the scene and have this guy pop up.  It’s always a hit!  For the amount I use it for work purposes I think I should get reimbursed for it!  ;-P

    A proud moment for Sierra and I.  After many evenings of playing together (I would say Sierra played 15% and Dad 85% when things got too tough) we finally defeated Ganon.  She was super excited to save the princess.  I don’t think she understood at the beginning how long it would take to save Princess Zelda but after many evenings we finally did it! 

    We started up the first Zelda game after this and I was really hesitant to do so.  My memories of that game was a year of burning bushes looking for secret passageways and it being an overly hard game.  However, I have a tool available now that was unavailable in 1987…the Internet.  We’ve been blazing through this game and I am actually enjoying it this time around.  Sierra finds this one really difficult so I’m mainly playing the game.

    Learning the piano!