Monday, 31 August 2009

September. Still Summer but Mostly Fall.

The big cement planters lining Jean Talon street were so cheerful looking in June. The colours, once a joyful confirmation of a new, less complicated season, have started to fade just a little. The perky blooms are still going strong, but their heads bob on gangly stems after growing and growing all summer long. A few brown curly leaves skitter across the sidewalk to collect in the corners of front-yard gardens. If you squint, it still looks like summer. But it's the details that give it away.

This is a bittersweet time of year. I so cherish the freedom of the summer months, the possibilities, the pursuit of the perfect patio dinner. Not to mention the sunshine! And sandals! I'm really not ready for it to be over. But, on the other hand, I love the cool nights and clear days, the leaves changing colour and everything around back-to-school (even though I haven't been a student in 11 years). Plus I'm really sick of my summer wardrobe now - can I wear my new jeans yet?

But when faced with the evidence, the little signs that the estival season is fading, I can't help but sigh. It happens every year. It signals back-to-school for my brain, time to get down to business. No more mental goofing off, sleeping in and watching cartoons all day. And while I'm keen to learn (a schoolie as my best friend Julie used to tease), I just need a day or two more of heat, BBQ, cold drinks and trashy magazines. THEN I'll get serious. OK?

Speaking of serious, this summer will be known for serious cuteness. The summer we got to meet Asher and then introduce him to Liliane.

He was thrilled. Really, I could tell.

There are more where those came from, I owe y'all a post on our NYC trip plus the birthday party we went to on Saturday. Three words: LIFE. SIZE. DORA.
Back soon!

Monday, 24 August 2009


This post is sorely overdue (hee hee, forgive my punny sense of humour) but I am only now coming up for air after vacation last week. Family road trip to NYC, Asher's party, driving back with my Mom and spending the rest of the week with her, photos, photos, photos. All to come!

Before all that came my quick little solo trip to Brooklyn to meet my new nephew at the end of July. He was only a week old and cuter than a bug's ear.

And... poof! Just like that, I was born.


Baby jazz hands!

Bris day: Father-son bonding.

What are those sharp things for, Dad?

My job was to assist the mohle (person who performs the circumcision) during the preparation for the actual ceremony. It was super cool to meet mohle Emily who happens to be a retired OB-GYM and patiently answered all my lame bris related questions.
As for the actual JOB, let me just say that if you are lucky enough to be part of this amazing ritual, make sure there is either strong coffee or liberal amounts of alcohol available to you. There is blood and there are tears. And the baby doesn't really have a good time either. (Ha ha! Kidding!)
No, seriously, not for the faint of heart.

Once we were done, this is what he looked like. Zonked right out. Why? Because he gets as much wine and sugar as he wants! You heard me, I said WINE. Mohle Emily assured me that it's mostly the sugar that puts them to sleep. Whatever, it worked. Can babies have hangovers?

My job as the kvatterin was to bring him out when everyone said "May he who comes be blessed." My job was also to make sure he didn't get jostled or anything on the long trip to the table. His junk was all trussed up under those blankets so if I, you know, bumped into that lamp, it would be a very bad thing. Hence the pained expression on my face.

That's Bari's Dad Paul sitting beside Asher. He is the sandak (sorry, couldn't find it on the almighty Wikipedia) and he says: "This is the throne of Elijah."

The actual snip. Mr. Cool slept through it all.

Matthew and Bari held up well but they were pretty glad to get their little bundle back. Mohle Emily made a toast: "May he bring much joy to his parents in the months and years to come."

This is when we got to crack open the Manischewitz! L'Chaim!

Matthew explained the significance of his son's name. Asher William is named for my grandparents, Alice and Wilbur and my brother wrote a surprisingly beautiful text filled with such sentiment, so many lovely memories. Surprising only because he tends to be the strong silent type and I didn't realize he was such a good writer. What up with all that hidden talent, bro?
Luckily he let me read it the night before so I could keep the waterworks under control the next day. I cried anyway but so did he so I think that's fair.
Then Mohle Emily spoke about the history and significance of the bris and the blessings continued. You know what's really cool? A baptism/christening has a lot in common with a bris! Coming together with friends and family, presenting your new baby to God and sharing your hopes for his future, and sealing the deal with food!
Here is part of what Emily said:

"God and Creator, happy parents have come into Your presence to voice the longings of their hearts. Give them the wisdom to teach their child to be faithful to You and Your teachings. That he may grow up with the knowledge that God’s presence is shining upon him. Keep open the eyes of his spirit, that he may ever be conscious of the beauty and wonder of this world. And let him learn to love the goodness that is within him. Though none can escape sorrow and pain, we humbly ask for him courage, faith, and strength. Grant him health of mind and strength of body, that he may enjoy a long life of learning, giving, and loving. Amen."
I mean, isn't that what everyone wants for their kids? Gives me goosebumps to read it even now.

Bari's brother Danny blessed the challah.
And then it was time to eat! No pictures of the food table I'm afraid, but it was laden with bagels, lox, whitefish, cream cheese, herring, mandel bread, marble cake, and the list goes on. Delish.

There's mohle Emily with the happy family. Yep, Asher is still asleep.

We survived!

And we even have energy left to smile about it!

After it was all over, Matthew and I broke out the Wii.

Multi-tasking super Dad - holding sleeping baby and attempting to kick my butt at Wii bowling. I won.
Matthew took these before I left the next day.

I think he's forgiven me.

And my fave:

Ooooohhh... Did you have LOX for breakfast?
And that was my bris experience! Altogether super cool. Thanks Asher! (And your parents were great, too :)
OK now it's midnight and I am finally finished the bris post. Wow, TV is sucky at this hour. Reality show about Hugh Hefner? Help.
Back soon with vacation photos!

Friday, 7 August 2009

Wow, Who Knew?

I am posting randomly in the middle of the day FROM WORK (sorry, I never do that, not cool) because I just heard about the death of John Hughes. His name won't ring as many bells as that other icon from the same era who died recently, but for me he is right up there with ol' MJ.

John Hughes wrote and directed some of our favourite movies from that era: Ferris, Breakfast Club, 16 Candles, Pretty In Pink, Planes Trains and Automobiles. (See his full filmography here) Those films were not "important" in the Oscar sense, but man, they made an impact.

Example: I challenge you to hear the opening lines of Danke Schoen without seeing Ferris at the parade or TRY not to cheer when the good girl and the bad boy get together in Breakfast Club. Classic!

Fancy film theorists have since declared that John Hughes single-handedly changed the way adolescence was portrayed in cinema and birthed a new genre of film: the teen movie.

Anyway, all that film nerd stuff aside, what is really cool about John Hughes is this story. I discovered it a few minutes ago and am now foolishly choked up here at my computer because, wow. He was not only a penpal to a young girl (already awesome) but here's a guy who decided that the Hollywood life was not for him and, more importantly, not for his family. As a parent who works in the film industry (albeit the infinitely kinder, gentler version up here in Canada), I can't help but be moved. He continued to write a lot of great, mainly family friendly scripts but he stayed firmly out of the limelight. Cool.

Way to go John Hughes. Sorry you couldn't stick around longer.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Outdoor Family Activity! Hooray!

It was FINALLY a sunny Saturday so we made up for the weeks and weeks of crappy weekend weather by packing in all the summery stuff we could. I didn't bring the camera to the park in the morning for playground, picnic and swimming, but I'm telling you it was F-U-N.

In the afternoon we hopped the metro down to Old Montréal to hang out with the tourists and see what we could see. (*Note to parents with strollers: Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT get off at Champ-de-mars metro to go to the Old Port! There are approximately eleventy thousand stairs and zero working escalators. Place d'armes is a WAAAYYY better idea. )

Stéphane spotted these funky quad-bikes and we spontaneously decided to rent one.

Liliane: Too bad the photographer smelled like poop. (Not really, but what is with that face??)

I deign to be photographed sitting here in my royal special seat, however I do not deign to open my eyes. What does deign mean?

Our handsome driver.

Oh hello wedding party. Let me guess... Was it the BRIDE'S idea to traipse around tourist-land in the scorching sun on your wedding day? Hmmmm...

What are they doing?

Welcome to the Nerd Family wedding photo session. Nothing says newlywed like the Montréal Science Centre!
Why mother, why? I don't have an answer my child.

Leaving the Mr. and Mrs. Beaker behind, we rode past boats. (Boats! Liliane enthusiastically cried.)

Baby had the best view. Note her lack of sandals. She likes to take them off from time to time when we're out. Puzzling behaviour for my budding shoe-o-holic.
And then it rained. One glorious day. That was it folks!
Otherwise... Getting ourselves organized for our trip to NYC. And we decided today that our housewarming party would be in October at the same time as Liliane's 2nd birthday. So that's why you haven't received your invitation, indignant reader! None have been issued since we feel like we still have a lot of crap to get rid of/stuff to buy that we can't afford just now.
I still have to post about the awesome bris experience, but am still trying to gather all the photos to give you an accurate picture of the event. If my SIL wasn't so busy with her NEW BABY and being a first-time mother and breastfeeding and all, I would have been all over it. But she is trying to get some SLEEP and whatever. Man, some people. :)

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Green Thumb

Alright, hold your applause at my oh-so-impressive garden.

It's not all me.

I have a secret weapon.

With just a little water and whole lot of cuteness, those flowers THRIVE.


So our next project is...

Teaching her to read! Naked! In the bathroom! No, kidding. Although that would be cool.

It's potty training! Also known as "Operation Lose The Diapers Already So We Can Afford To Take A Vacation Next Year."
So my quick trip to NYC this week was amazing. My nephew Asher is a perfect little morsel (who peed on me, but it's OK) and I will tell the whole story complete with photos in my next post because right now I'm a little worn out from our day full of F-U-N. It was actually warm and sunny (like a summer's day I hear) so we crammed in all the estival activities we could: park, picnic, wading pool and wandering around old Montreal, complete with a family bike ride!
Also I'm a little distracted by the Tin Man on TV. I am compelled to watch anything based on my beloved Wizard of Oz, but this interpretation is pretty dark and there are no sparkly shoes of ANY kind. But I'm sucked in anyway.
À bientôt!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...