Thursday, 31 July 2008

Zoo

So remember how I said I joined a parent/kid daycamp? And notice how you haven't really seen me posting about all of the superfun parent/kid daycamp adventures we've been having? Yeah, that's because I haven't been to any of the activities. We went the first day to meet everyone, then we were in Vancouver and missed a bunch of events, then when we got back the weather around here was so lousy that most things that week were cancelled. See? All good excuses. One thing we did not want to miss (and when I say WE I mean STÉPHANE) was the outing to the Granby Zoo. He took the day off for it and everything.

The day started badly as I struggled to get everything organized (MUST HAVE DELICIOUS YET NUTRITIOUS PICNIC LUNCH) and out the door on time to meet the rest of the gang. We could have gone by bus with all the other families, but opted to get a Communauto for the day instead. That was fine, all we have to do is meet the group at the entrace to get our passes. No prob. We sailed out of the city, all the way down the highway without a hitch. Then, a mere 12 km from the zoo, we got stuck in a 45-minute lineup.

Oh, and did I mention that it's Construction Holiday here in Quebec? Using the same brilliant logic as the province-wide July 1st moving day, the powers that be decided that all construction workers get their holidays around the last two weeks of July. I actually looked it up on Wikipedia and here is the explanation:

In the province of Quebec, Canada, the Construction Holiday is the most popular time for summer vacations. In 1970, Quebec legislated an annual holiday for the construction industry during the last two weeks of July every year, and the holiday came into effect officially in the summer of 1971. Many Quebecers outside the construction industry also take their holidays during these two weeks, and it is the busiest time of year for the province's tourism industry, with a surge of up to 40% in activity at some sites.

Voilà. All this to say that it was busy at the zoo. Luckily, the buses were also caught in the same traffic so we actually found our group at the crazy-crowded entrance. Phewf. We were ready to bite the bullet and just pay the freaking $30/person entrace fee but yay, we didn't have to.




Our matching entrance bracelets


Once we got our admission figured out (included in the camp fees I paid way back when), we headed back to the car to eat lunch before diving into the jungle...

Note clever use of cooler lid.


No, she's not going to end up sleeping with the fishes... Just a handy spot for diaper changing.



Liliane Arbour, intrepid wildlife expert, decides where to make camp.


We saw lots of cool animals - these ones are all from the Africa section:



We like to move it, move it...








BEFORE naptime:


AFTER naptime!



She snoozed through the hippopotami and was largely unimpressed by most of the big beasts that we pointed out. As Stéphane said, if there were a bunch of kids jumping around in cages, she'd be thrilled. One advantage to being stuck in a huge crowd, there were always plenty of other rugrats around to entertain her.

The petting zoo was a success however:


I've been baaaaad... (note: this is Stéphane's joke, used by permission)




The zoo also has a waterpark which is much larger and more impressive than the below photos depict, but we hung out with the under-1 crowd in the lagoon area mostly. No question, that kid LOVES the water.


You would think that after 6 hours of major stimulation (kids! animals! water! picnic! ice cream! more kids!) Liliane would be a little kvetchy but no. Here she is cracking up with Daddy in the parking lot:

Such a good time. Definitely worth all the (Mama-generated) stress. We did get a little payback last night when our totally wound-up kiddo would not go to sleep. Even though she could barely keep her little eyes open, she doggedly forced herself to roll over and try to sit up as soon as I put her in bed. And everytime I turned her back over, she did it again. And again. We went through that about 35 times, then I gave up. She finally did go to sleep and slept through the night no doubt dreaming about all the exotic children she saw at the zoo!

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Places to Go!

After approximately 800 people predicted that she'll be crawling "any minute," Liliane finally coordinated her limbs enough to actually GET SOMEWHERE without smacking her head on the floor in frustration... Her real first crawl was about two days ago, but she was at it again this morning and the Flip was handy so this will have to do:
video

In reviewing the clip, I wish I could say that my bad framing serves some kind of artistic purpose (it doesn't) and that I thought she actually covered more distance... Oh well, you get the idea. Plus don't miss the bonus demonstration of her clapping skills at the end!

Last night I went out for dinner with two of my girlfriends to celebrate Paola's birthday. It was a beautiful evening and we sat on the terrace of this restaurant and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Nothing like French cuisine to inspire one to indulge. Except maybe Italian. Or anything that I haven't cooked myself.



Note that while I took a picture of my arugula starter, my bavette with scalloped potatoes and creme brulée dessert didn't get the same treatment... You'll have to take my word for it, everything was delicious.


My dining companions:


I confess to getting my hair cut again yesterday - I could never get it to look like that on my own. Although now that I own a straightener, I might achieve good hair more than once a month. We'll see...

Paola is not actually threatening to bludgeon me in this picture, she is in fact modelling part of my gift to her: a pink polka-dotted hammer/screwdriver combo.

I can't say that she won't threaten others with it once she gets it back to the office... You have been warned Galafilmers!

Liliane is finally waking up from her almost two hour nap. Stéphane, not so much. Another muggy and stormy day around here, good for dozing close to the air conditioner. I think after lunch we'll head over to the wading pool and perhaps to hear some live music at the Francofolies later on if we're feeling really ambitious.
Enjoy your weekend wherever you are!

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Why I Love Our Friends

Because they invite us over for dinner! Jean-Michel and Laurence had us over last Saturday for delicious BBQ on their lovely deck. We sat outside until a surprise downpour drove us in but we enjoyed ourselves nonetheless. As always we ate well, we drank well (new favourite rosé - Billette from Provence. Yum!) and the company was divine. I've said it before, longtime friends are truly special. What a treat!

Our hosts and proud homeowners:


Yes those are popcorn twists. Judge me if you will, but only if you've been through baby teething and barfing and have another more clever and nutritious trick up your sleeve that would keep her happy. And if you do, please EMAIL IT TO ME. If it involves icy washclothes and/or ice-cubes and/or anything that is made to help babies with teething, don't bother. Been there, tried that.



See that face? Now shush.

Did I mention that the Baby Guru told me about these? And, as she says, she hasn't broken any of her kids yet so not to worry :)







Speaking of longtime friends, yesterday I went up to visit Colleen at her two girls Emilie and Mikayla at the cottage just outside of town where they are holidaying all this month. I happen to also be tight with the person from whom they rented the place and have been there on other occasions so it was all very friendly and familiar.

With Kona, Colleen's biggest baby :)


Montreal weather has been grey grey grey all week and yesterday was no exception. That didn't stop us from heading down to the lake for the afternoon! And actually it made for kind of cool pictures.

The path to the dock.




My stark white daughter against a trio of lovely, bronzed ladies. These are the only pictures I have with Emilie (the older daughter) in it. She was there, just BEHIND the camera.


Emilie took all of these as I frolicked in the water with Mikayla...


MoTHUR! This thing doesn't go with my bathing suit!
Mikayla of the super flexible limbs...








Emilie took many many more photos, some of which unfortunately displayed a little too much of my current bathing suit body. Sorry people, I'm all for keepin' it real and everything, but a girl has to have a little pride. Besides, seeing too much of myself like that drives me right to the two-bite brownies. For the love of losing baby weight, please, no more photos!
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