Hot topic

Last night, Zak was doing some dishes and supper was ready, so I grabbed the pan full of “lazy lasagna” in the oven and took it to the table after, of course, dutifully covering my hands with oven mitts. My son followed me, then ran back to the kitchen and pointed at the oven saying “chaud” (hot, in French… well, it sounds more like “so”, but we know what it means). He got a bit too close to the very hot oven so Zak felt the need to intervene: “It’s hot, you can’t touch it if you don’t have gloves.”

Not easily discouraged, my almost 15-month-old ran to the cycling bag, rummaged in and pulled out Zak’s cycling gloves (proving once again that he understands fully well what we’re saying). Then he ran back to the oven with the gloves on his hands and an air that said “Ok, Daddy, I’m ready now.”

We had to explain that those were not the right gloves and then let him put on the oven mitts and touch the oven with them on.

P.S… I always loved to read, on my cousins’ blogs, the cute or funny things that their kids said or did, longing for the day when my son would make me part of this select club of mums with cute or funny offspring. Well, I think I can safely say I’m in now! Thanks!

Cinnamon Buns…

Today, Zak baked some cinnamon buns.

Cinnamon bun

He also bakes cookies, cakes, crisps, brownies, pies… Oh, and he makes ice cream too!

Last week, he baked some garlic bread. From scratch.

For a girl like me, who comes from a family where cakes were baked only for birthdays and cookies came from the store in a cardboard box, it sometimes feels like Heaven on Earth. No wonder I married him!

Baby in the kitchen

Lately, he has started taking Elliot in the kitchen with him. He’ll sit him up on the counter and let him “help” by giving him the ingredients to scoop out in the big bowl, or letting him stir with the whisk. Do you have any idea just how cute that is? Of course a mess tends to follow, but he even cleans up after…

And to top that up, I have a fast metabolism. I’m telling you, I’m a lucky woman!

The end of the world

Last night was the election, and for a while it looked like the Conservatives were going to have a majority government. In the end they didn’t, but the fact is, noone wants an election for the next two years at least, so the Conservatives will be able to do whatever they want for at least that long. And that scares the hell out of me.

I don’t recognize myself in this government. I don’t share their priorities and their values. To quote no other than Sarah Palin (in a very different context), Stephen Harper sees a Canada that is very different from mine (or something like that). For the longest time, I didn’t have much of a vision of Canada anyway. The last time I cried about the result of a vote it was in 1995 when I voted for the separation of Quebec from Canada. It was my first vote, and losing it made me really depressed. Today, I am crying because I have to come to terms with the fact that lots of Canadians seem to agree with Stephen Harper.

It makes me want to move back to Quebec where, at least, people don’t vote Conservatives. Oh, wait… Where did I live again? Right, in Quebec City, where people just elected 3 Conservative MPs…

The worst thing for me, though, is the environment. I don’t understand how people can be so blind. We cannot afford to do nothing about the environment for another 2, 3, 4 years! We couldn’t afford to do nothing for the PAST 3 years. Call me crazy if you want, but I would like my son to have an Earth to walk on when he’s an adult. How can people not feel like that? How can they oppose a carbon tax that would help us heal the environment, if ever so slightly. How can people not see that their wallet will be emptier if the environment collapses than if they have to pay an extra cent per liter of gas?

Today, I am mourning my Earth. Because I have the feeling that when we do wake up and stop letting the Conservatives blind us with their American-style personal attacks, when we do realize that we need to do what Europe has already done to reduce our emissions and start fixing the damage we have done… When we do realize that what we needed is a Green Shift 10 years ago… That day, it may very well be too late.

And that is why today feels like the end of the world.

Pumpkin Patch

Today we visited a patch of countryside less than 30 minutes away from our bustling city: the Country Pumpkin Patch, in Richmond. We had a wonderful time with some friends of ours despite the fact that there is some room for improvement.

First, their Website doesn’t work… Except when it does. Which seems to be random. And I was slightly disappointed by the farm animals that they have: 2 lamas, 2 miniature goats and 2 pigs. I thought there was a petting zoo, but I guess I must have read their site wrong. The price tag is a bit high ($10 per person, free for 2 and under, although some of the signs on the site say 3 and under, some 2 and under). But the price does include a pumpkin of your choice and a hay-ride.

Pumpkin PatchAll in all, we figure it was worth it. The main site has a stage with live, non-stop entertainment; a bit lame for adults, but pretty good for children and the music was not bad at all. There are tables for picnics, a few booths selling junk food and a tent full of hay, which older children were having fun playing in. At first, we thought that was it and we were really disappointed. Then we took the hay-ride (with live entertainment) to the pumpkin patch. The corn maze was not overly entertaining, but the pumpkin patch is huge and all of the pumpkin were perfect! Granted, they opened on Saturday and we went Sunday, so we were among the first. Last year, we went later in the season and the remaining pumpkins were all smashed or rotten. This time, we had our pick of small pumpkins, big pumpkins, orange, white, green pumpkins…

Our boy and the son of our friends had a good time dancing to the music and sitting on pumpkins. They will enjoy it more when they’re older, and we’re definitely going to go back. I love to seize any opportunity to show my son where his food comes from. This is a great place to go to enjoy a sunny fall day.

-Mommy, look at me, I swear I’ll manage to lift it!

Oh happy days!

Today, our son was happy. It’s only when Zakary mentioned how it had been a while since he had been that giggly that I realized how crappy his mood had been lately. In the last two weeks, he started being fussy at mealtime because he wanted to eat by himself with a spoon, and then eating very little because he can’t actually master the technique yet. He started waking up at night again, after 4 months of sleeping right through, and he stopped having the 2-hour nap we had gotten used to right after lunch. Instead, he would either fall asleep in the stroller or cry right through nap time, or wake up after a 30-minute nap with enough volume in his cry that we knew there was no way he was going back to sleep. He was tired and cranky, and so were we (a baby that wakes up at 4 every night will do that to you).

But two days ago he started eating well again, his sleep got much better and his smile came back. Today, we managed to do our weekly shopping at the farmer’s market and buy him some winter boots, then he slept in his stroller for more than 90 minutes (a miracle!), then after lunch we went for a bike ride, stopped at the park to let him play, came home, prepared supper, ate, and he was still giggling right through bed time. Weird. Wonderful!

Now that I think of it, I remember that it used to be like that every day! That baby used to laugh and giggle, instead of just fuss and whine. I don’t know what happened. Was it his tooth coming through that was bothering him? Was something else wrong with his health? Was it the lack of sleep? Or is it just the normal up-and-downs of a toddler’s life, fueled by the frustration of being able to think of things you want or want to do but not having the words to express them? In any case, tonight we are all nicely exercised and Zakary and I are thinking, with a smile on our face, that if every day was like that, parenthood wouldn’t be too hard after all!

Let’s enjoy it. You never know what tomorrow holds!

Elections are coming…

The Canadian election is coming and I have a harder time than I wish deciding who to vote for.

I WILL vote. That much is certain. I don’t understand how some people can pass up the right to vote as if this was some unimportant chore that someone else can do for them. Voting gives you the right to complain about your leaders afterward if they’re doing bad. People have died around the world for the right to vote. All WE have to do is get informed beforehand, and then on voting day, get our asses off the couch and vote. That’s not too much to ask.

I am not voting for the Conservatives. That much is easy to decide. I think that Stephen Harper is a dangerous, scary man who sets Canada back years and years in terms of environmental and social policy. I am deeply ashamed of him and of his position on global warming and on crime, to name but a few. Just thinking that he could get a majority gives me hives. I just can’t stand this possibility!

Now who is left? Last election, I voted for the NDP because I really like their candidate, but this time, I’m not so sure. To be fair, I don’t know much about their candidate in my riding. But the NDP’s environmental policy is pretty much that of the Conservatives. And environmentalists around the world have shown that the cap-and-trade system (proned by the NDP) is not as effective as the Liberal’s carbon tax.

If I was in Quebec, I would probably vote for the Bloc Quebecois. But I’m not in Quebec. Enough said.

I would probably vote for the Liberals, even though I don’t like Dion much, because I really like the Green Shift idea an I think that the Liberals would best govern us at this time. The problem is, I really hate the candidate in my riding. She has been here forever, she hasn’t done anything, and last election I saw her at a town hall meeting and her personality really got on my nerves. She arrived (very) late, she acted like a diva… No thanks! She will probably win anyway, though. She always does, and by a landslide. Which means I don’t have to vote for her even though I want the Liberals to win. And that way I will still be able to live with myself the morning after.

The only choice left is the Greens. I don’t agree with some of their social policies, and frankly, I certainly wouldn’t want them to govern the country! But I figure a vote for the Greens would register as a vote for the environment. And that’s the main issue for me right now. I would like to have an Earth to pass on to my son. I really don’t get why people don’t figure this out: sure, the carbon tax may hurt the economy a bit (I’m not even sure that’s true, but let’s pretend it is). The planet’s implosion will hurt more than that, won’t it? We need to protect the Earth, or else there won’t be any economy left to complain about.

So I will most likely vote for the Greens, unless someone convinces me otherwise before next Tuesday. By the way,  have you noticed? Tuesday is a full moon. I wonder if Harper is superstitious. Maybe he figures superstitious people won’t want to bring about any change on a full moon. Hopefully we will surprise him. Because if he’s elected with a majority, I’m the one who will turn into a werewolf…

Maybe this time, if Obama is elected, it’s Canadians that will be moving to the States!

Expanding brain

Every day, I am amazed by my son’s expending brain activity. His vocabulary is growing at the speed of light: to the early words like more, bike, ball, chapeau, maman and bye-bye, he has now added things like casque, book, tortue (we have a stuffed turtle that he likes), fish, beluga (can you tell we like the aquarium), etc. He can make the sound of many common animals when he sees them – cow, sheep, pig, cat, horse, duck and even rabbit (if you don’t know what sound a rabbit makes, ask Zak), although for some reason, dogs still tend to go moo. He also understands most of what we tell him : he runs enthusiastically to the bathroom when I ask him if he wants to take a bath, and he says yes or no when we ask him if he wants more of his meal (no) or a fruit (yes).

But he is also becoming more and more independant. He refuses to be fed and doesn’t want to eat with his fingers anymore, but with a fork or spoon. Of course, he cannot do it properly, so he simply doesn’t eat (and wakes up early and hungry). He challenges our authority when we ask him to stop drawing on the furniture and looks at me to see if I’m watching before taking his crayons away from the table where he knows they are supposed to stay. He likes to climb to everything and seems decided to kill himself before his second birthday.

Really, if he’s driving us slightly crazy, it’s only because he’s smart and testing the limits of his newfound abilities… Right? Tell me I’m right!