Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's in the details

It seems there might be some artistic blood in this family of scientists!

Estelle has always has exceptional fine motor skills and her burgeoning art portfolio is really impressive. All of the drawings you see below were jotted down in the past few days, and there are many others. She picks up any old piece of paper and draws creative, symmetric, precise and purposeful pieces any time of day. 

While I don't recall the subject for each drawing, those that I recall specifically are annotated.

A candle

Daddy peeing 

A dress

A man

A sword

Family Matters

Although we focused on the kid-centric party this year, we couldn't really pass up the opportunity to have cousins, grandparents, auntie and great-auntie over for a mini celebration. Alice received some lovely gifts, and best of all, Grand made pâté chinois for dinner.

That's a big box behind her, but Alice managed to open the card first

Emma: what is this thing they call a "birthday" and will I ever get one?

Always a princess
(but now she also wants to be a "vedette")
Much calmer gang than those 6 year-olds

Emma's part of the eating crowd!

Lovely papillon

I won't forget my wish on this cake.

Is someone gonna put that cake on my plate?

The girls admiring the lovely fairy in the jewelry box.
Estelle was so good about Alice's big day - no jealousy or whining.
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Happy Birthday Alice

Alice is six years old! One of the youngest and smallest in her class, and still no lost teeth (much to her chagrin), but she really is growing up.

Lucky girl had her actual birthday on the same day as her party this year. Also, we opted for our very first kid-friend party, which was a little more overwhelming than planned, but oh so fun. We had 10 kids, played pass the parcel, ate kid fare, cake and watched Hercules. Good, clean fun.

A Barbie from my sister

You promise I'll get this many presents for my birthday?

Waiting for the guests

Silly faces.
Lavergnes - pouvez-vous trouver votre clown?


Sideways cat cake


An old friend, Gregory, from daycare at Silvana's.
Little sister Magalie butting in!

Oh no! Someone gave Alice makeup. I guess they didn't know about our rules...
Looks like Gregory knows this makeup business means something is up with girls.

Merci, merci Léa. On adore ce jeu!

Movie time.
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Magnificent Progress!!!

School and daycare is a much bigger hit now than it was only 2 weeks ago. Estelle smiling at drop-offs and Alice happy playing with friends when we pick her up at the end of the day. Phew!

Now we only have to work on Alice's appreciation of the benefits of homework!

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Deep sea diver

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

We're going on a bear hunt

On the weekend, we headed to the forest with work gloves and saws to clear out the trails for safer biking. Before leaving, Estelle drew up this map which shows the trail leaving our house, winding it's way into the forest, and BAM!! all those dashes are bears! In our forest! So scary!

The smaller, oval one is a baby by the way.

p.s. more bragging about Estelle's drawing skills to come soon.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Ottawa for kicks and giggles

We realized at the last minute we had a long weekend on the horizon, so after checking campsites and finding them all booked, decided to jet to Ottawa for an overnight. Got a great room on the 10th floor of a new hotel, saw some hot air balloons, visited whales at the museum, nursed Alice's fever, watched Scooby Doo, and ate a generous breakfast buffet. 

Short lived, but marvelous!

This seems like work...

It had to happen. Our gorgeous summer of swimming, playing, reading books and lazing around come to an abrupt end last Monday when Estelle ventured into her new daycare group and Alice checked in for the thrilling, challenging, overwhelming and enriching experience of  real big-kid school (apparently kindergarten just doesn't count). Not only is Alice entering the more serious educational stage during which she will learn to read, write and analyse higher derivatives, but she's in a new school! Our house move brought us slightly closer to a school which happens to be across from Estelle's daycare. Logistically it makes sense, but seeing her little face examining the crowd of strangers made us question the switch. 

So far, Alice has been really brave about the whole thing. She carried her giant backpack in, filled the required with pencils (how can she possibly use so many in one year?), two pencil cases (for all the pencils) and construction paper (good news, they will still do some crafts), and was branded with the colored nose dot which was to help her find her teacher. 

Alice is a watcher. So this week she watched, studied and examined. She made friends with her locker buddy, Florence, decided she didn't like music before having the class, and commented on how much waiting and/or listening they have to do. We haven't the heart to tell her that, yes, you will wait for others very often. And when you're not the one waiting, you're being rushed because you're too slow. 

Anyhow, we all made it through, and are happy to enjoy this last long weekend before the homework we've been warned about starts rolling in. 

Wish us all luck! We're collectively nervous but excited!

Her teacher is holding the symbolic orange balloon

(p.s. Estelle's daycare photos fuzzy - better ones soon)

Shakespeare who?

The whole Potter - Trudel - Desharnais clan drove to Stratford in August to celebrate a multitude of things - Gareth and Sarah's engagement (woo-hoo), Gareth's birthday, the imminent end of summer and start of school, the string of every-so-handy OnRoutes along the 417... 

While the drive was long, long, long (exact length: 3 movies, 1 meal, 2 pee breaks, 2 gas fill-ups) we arrived to Gareth dancing in the street and were set up at a sweet spot only steps away from Justin Bieber's prime busking location. Okay, so he wasn't there are the time, but we saw his star of fame!

While we didn't make it to Gareth's show, we enjoyed the ducks, chocolate and toy shops, and playing hide and seek in Gareth backyard. The girls both enjoyed palling around with their smaller, but equally entertaining cousins, Olivia sparkle shoes and Emma smiley-pants.

Alice and Estelle did manage to sneak in one show with mum, dad and Unky G. We saw a lively and adorable Charlie Brown. The next day Alice got a big girl's backstage tour and was even allowed to board the bus used in the play. Awesome perk!