Friday, 29 August 2008

A Taste

I really wasn't planning on doing this now, but I had to download all the photos from both of the cameras anyway in preparation for Pierre and Ariel's wedding tomorrow and I just couldn't resist posting a few of these...

This week has been CRAZY - new job, daycare, got rear-ended (Liliane was not in the car, phewf), officially said goodbye to my old work colleagues, went to the Vivafilm party on Tuesday night, stayed late, got a little tipsy, busy getting ready for the big wedding tomorrow (finally found a dress, another phewf), aaaccckkk.

All this to say that I will soon post more trip photos and also have wedding photos as well.

Just so you know, Liliane is so far loving daycare. I cried the first day but I've been OK since. It all feels very natural, like it's the right time.

OK, off to get stuff organized for tomorrow!

Monday, 25 August 2008

Coming Soon...

We're back from our vacation, we solved the daycare crisis and I have many many many photos to post. Two words: Baby sunglasses.

Dashing around today with appointments and errands since Liliane starts daycare tomorrow and I'll be going into the office for the first time. Gulp. It's all good.

I'll be back!

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Leggo my Viggo, New Job, Etc.

I'll start off this long overdue post with photos of Isabelle and Sébastien's new baby boy named Viggo. He made his arrival last Tuesday morning at 6 lbs, 7 oz after about 12 hours of labour. Isabelle actually started her contractions ON HER DUE DATE and was delivered BY HER OWN DOCTOR (which happens to also be my doctor who of course was not at MY delivery but I'm over that. Almost.) after what is considered a pretty short and sweet labour for a first baby.

The proud parents sent out this photo of their son who was maybe not in the mood to be photographed just now thank you very much.

I stopped in to visit today and took some photos of my own:

So tiny, so lovely. Mama and baby are well. Not sleeping much but he's eating well and gaining weight. Liliane didn't really pay too much attention - she was too busy crawling all over and hoovering any stray bits of lint or dust from the floors...

Speaking of crawling, my daughter does not simply SIT anymore. If she is on the floor, she's on her way somewhere. I never tire of this view:

I love watching her get places.

One of her favourite spots to explore is the treasure trove known as the pots and pans cupboard.

What is this rare beauty?

Surely it dates from the pre-Tupperwarian era...

Yet another specimen!

A rare, eggshell blue mini colander in the style of early 21st century Wal-Mart...

I took these after bathtime the other night. Liliane had a terrible day of teething on Monday so we were so happy to see our cheerful baby come back to us!

(Those bruises on Stéphane's arm are his manly paintball wounds.)

It's taken me a while to post because I've had a couple of things going on this week AND since my child was taken from me on the weekend and replaced by a whining, drooling, snarling, teething she-devil, I just didn't want to remember any of our recent activities much less take photos... Actually, we did have a lovely afternoon on Satuday with Julie, Joyce and Rosie while Stéphane was away with the boys. We witnessed Rosie's very first swing ride (which she loved) and enjoyed cocktails and snacks while the girls both slept. OK, Liliane woke up as soon as she sensed that I was sitting down for sustenance but she hung out and gnawed on pita, a fry or two and the lychees from our drinks. (No, they weren't IN our drinks, we rinsed them first :) Thank you Baby Tylenol for making that moment possible!

Sunday we went to check out a sort of Bio/Organic Food festival thing at the Circus school. As I type this, I realize how kooky it sounds, but picture a bunch of tents outside with bio/organic food samples, all-natural frozen yogurt being sold by nuns (I'm not kidding), a horse, a bull and some chickens for the kids to pet, face painting, sing-a-longs and hammocks for sale. All on the grounds of the Circus school who had erected some tents and displays for the occasion. I instructed Liliane not to do anything too cute because I forgot the camera at home but it sure would have been easier to explain the whole thing with some photographic evidence...

In the midst of all that, I got myself a new job. I wasn't looking for one you see, and it completely took me by surprise. I was planning to start back part time after Labour Day at my current job when this opportunity presented itself less than TWO WEEKS after seeing this particular producer's new film and being inspired to say out loud "I would really love to work with that woman." Ta da! Be careful what you wish for! To make a long story short, it so happened that she was looking for someone and she met with me on Friday, we clicked, she offered me the job, voilà. Her office is about a ten-minute walk from our house, the hours and days are flexible, she does amazing projects (feature films), she's a fellow anglophone who works in French AND her birthday is on the SAME DAY as Liliane's. Hello! You don't have to hit ME over the head with a 2 x 4! It was meant to be.

My current boss was wonderful about my big news. What is good news for me is kinda crappy for her but she was more than gracious. I am so grateful for my time there and for all my colleagues that I will miss miss miss. You guys rock. Please don't enjoy work too much without me. :) Also, if you are learning about my big career move for the first time as you read this please accept my apologies for not calling or emailing you directly (see the earlier paragraph on the teething she-devil). Thank you.

So the plan is the same - Liliane will start daycare the week of the 25th and I will start going to the office part time to get into the swing of it all. Stay tuned for how all of THAT goes down.

Otherwise... we're heading off to Nova Scotia on Sunday for a week of catching up with friends, introducing Liliane to everyone, meeting Julie and Kevin's daughter, playing on the beach, watching Liliane flirt with Sue and Dave's cutie Louis, having BBQs, drinking a little too much and generally soaking up all that summer holiday goodness. I may try and post while we're gone but if not, I'll have a ton of photos when we get back.

It's that time of year when fall is occasionally in the air, a hint of what is to come. It's my favourite time, when each hot and sunny day is that much more precious. Enjoy it, gentle readers. I for one will be forsaking my other chores to take Liliane to the wading pool right now, just because we can. Carpe diem and all that.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

It's All About the Anti-Oxidants

Liliane has a thing for blueberries, especially the frozen ones. I guess they feel good on her gums and they are just the right size for her little fingers to grab. She can really pack them away and since they do eventually start melting, she only gets them when I know I can pop in her in the bath directly afterwards. I took these the other night after dinner.

A little something on my chin, you say?

These blueberries are two-teeth chompin' good!

I can't hear you over the sound of all this deliciousness.

I will now recite an original poem on the subejct of blueberries.

No cameras please, I am preparing.

Roses are red
Blueberries are blue

Oh, did you say blueberries? Yes please!

And that ends my super fun captioning exercise for today.

Not much going on. Case in point: my big news is that I went to the dentist yesterday for the first time in at least 6 years and didn't have one single cavity! Ha! In your face regularly scheduled dental appointments! The removal of tartar however was reason enough to get back into the habit of flossing. Ugh.

Stéphane is out with a bunch of boys today playing paintball in an all-day bachelor party for our friend Pierre who is getting married in a couple of weeks. It's pretty civilized all in all: paintball, dinner (not wings at a sports bar either), then a little carousing afterwards with nary a nudie bar in the plan. In french this tradition is called an "Enterrement de vie de garçon" (roughly translated: "the burying of your life as a single guy"). His fiancée Ariel will have her evening just before the wedding so hopefully I will remember to bring a camera.

It's actually sunny today (one bright day in the middle of weeks and weeks of clouds, rain and thunderstorms) so we two girls are heading over to see Julie and Joyce and baby Rosie and maybe even splash around in Rose's little pool.

It's Saturday everybody! Do something fun especially if it's actually warm and summery where you are!

Wednesday, 6 August 2008


Our friend Maggie rolled into town on Friday (literally rolled, she BIKED here from Toronto with over 300 other people to raise money for AIDS research) and dragged her sore self over to our place on Saturday for a visit.

We all met at Concordia University lo these nearly 12 years ago and I'm glad that we were able to keep in touch even though Maggie has since defected to her T.O. hometown (by way of many other interesting places).

Maggie actually came over and introduced herself at the Concordia orientation day lunch. She asked if she could join me and we've been friends ever since.

She met Liliane for the first time who gladly demonstrated her blueberry eating skills:

Sleepy Maggie admiring Liliane's display of dexterity...

So great to see you Mags! My turn to come to T.O. next. Someday.

Yesterday we had more visitors! Nothing like people coming over to get the tidying up done! Have I mentioned that I can't wait to get my cleaning ladies back??

My friend Julie and baby Rosie stopped by for lunch and a playdate. They were away on a month-long sojourn in the UK so we had lots of catching up to do.

Little Rose is almost 5 months old and she and Liliane have been friends since before she was born! (So say her mothers and I anyway).

Excellent upper body strength my dear.

We took the girls out on a stroll to Jean-Talon market.

Cutie! Julie suspects teeth are on their way so this may be one of her last toothless grins!

Lovely to see you both!

In other news: Saw Mamma Mia last night and had a GREAT TIME. Such a hoot. Feeling cranky? Go see it. Meryl Streep is a wonder and Pierce Brosnan... Three words: he sings ABBA. That's all I have to say.

Another chilly and rainy day here in the East. Trying to work up the courage to make dentist appointment for Friday and also waiting for news from my pal Isabelle who was having contractions when I last saw her on Monday. I'm remembering the post-delivery haze and resisting the urge to call. Maybe I'll make them some food while I'm waiting. My brother's stock of frozen macaroni and cheese kept me going for the first few months after Liliane was born so I firmly believe in the restorative properties of protein-rich pasta, especially for the breast-feeding new Mom. To the kitchen!

Monday, 4 August 2008

Quebec City Getaway

We're back from our micro-mini vacation to Quebec City and while the weather was more of downer than Queen Elizabeth at an FLQ convention (Haha, Quebec separatist humour), we still had a good time hanging around this beautiful city, soaking up its history and enjoying the festive atmosphere of Québec's 400th anniversary.

The big draw for us was the Moulin aux images (The Image Mill) that Robert Lepage designed for the occasion of Quebec's big birthday bash. I can't really describe it except to say that it is a 40-minute show of music and HD images depicting Quebec's history projected on the silos at Quebec's old port. It's been playing every night at 10PM since June 20th but comes to an end on August 24th. We are fast running out of summer weekends so this was our last chance to go. In one word? A-MAZING. Even in the blowing wind and pouring rain, (yep, your basic "outdoor-show-with-a-baby-worst-case- scenario") it was stunning. A once-in-a-lifetime experience that we are happy to have been brave enough to stick around for.

Between gripping my umbrella, sheltering Liliane and rocking the stroller, I managed to take a couple of photos. Of course they don't begin to do justice to the enormity of the spectacle, but you get the idea:

I pumped up the fill light so you can see kind of what we were seeing. NOT PICTURED: gale-force winds and driving rain.

We were staying at a friend's apartment that is walking distance from the Old Port so we hightailed it back there once the show was over. We attempted to get our completely dry, warm and sleeping daughter into bed without waking her up but obviously THAT didn't work. After hours of crying (OK, 10 minutes), we finally brought her into bed with us. We haven't done that since before Christmas and now I remember why. She is the wiggliest sleeping baby EVER. Miraculously, Stéphane slept very well (usually he sleeps the least around here), Liliane of course slept like a log, but I kept having visions of crushing her in the night which oddly enough is not conducive to a restful good night's sleep. I snuck her back into her bed around 3 without any problems but she woke up at 7:30, just for fun.

We got our groggy selves out the door around 10 with the idea that once we found some coffee, we'd be up for strolling around the city for a few hours before heading home.

We found a café with excellent espresso, no problem:

And wow, did we ever feel better once the caffeine kicked in.

We took the olde-tyme Funicular to the upper part of the city:

Coming out of the station at the top, the first thing you see is this impressive statue of Samuel Champlain, founder of Quebec City:

Which is directly in front of the equally impressive Chateau Frontenac:

We have been to Quebec City a few times over the years, but there were a couple of new things in honour of the whole birthday party theme. The remnants of the original buildings were excavated and you could walk through and see what used to stand on this site. I was fascinated by the idea but the tour wasn't particularly stroller or cranky-baby friendly so we took some pictures from the top instead:

We strolled up the main drag to our #1 favourite thing to see when we're in Quebec. It's a cannon ball that has been lodged in a tree since 17-something. I forget which battle it was, but it has literally been embedded there all of these years. There isn't any plaque or anything, it's just sitting there.

Stéphane is taking video of it while passersby are wondering what the heck we are so excited about...

Random separatist graffiti:

And check out this little bus that runs on electricity!

We stopped for lunch at this quirky little fast-food chain that we don't have in Montréal. It's called Ashton and they are known for the quality of their poutine. They have all kinds of funky things on their menu (poutine with chicken and green peas or weiners) but we went with the classic poutine and all-dressed (meaning cabbage, mustard and green relish) hot dog. They had a deli-chicken and cheese sandwich that we ordered for Liliane which was perfect for her. This is also one of the first times she has been happy to sit in a restaurant high chair.

Although this picture is making my mouth water, I have to say that the poutine has gone a little downhill since the last time we had it. Or maybe our high-falutin' Montréal poutine standards and just too high :)

I know this picture is blurry, but Liliane was cracking up playing peek-a-boo (or Cou Cou! in French) and this is the best photo I got.

Back on the street, we were heading back towards the Old City when I noticed this seemingly innocuous energy drink vending machine.

Hmmm... notice anything special about the ingredients?

So that's what gives it that funky colour!! Ewwww.

Beauty shots of the Quebec Parliament and surrounding area just outside the St-Louis gate:

We trundled back down to the Old Port to get a shot of the silos at daytime and stumbled upon some cool stuff.

Here are the silos:

And this is a sculptural installation made to look like the water:
Hey, anything blue and sparkly works for me.

New favourite photo of Lili:

My attempts at taking an autoportrait with Liliane:

Stéphane came over and helped me out:

There were more things we could have done, but we were pooped by then and decided to pack up and hit the road. We got back to Montreal by 8PM, tired but happy.
Another week of clouds/rain/thunder/sun/humidity in the forecast, but oh well. Working on planning my last month of leave and preparing for big changes in September. Next big thing? Family vacay to Nova Scotia in two weeks!
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