Thank you Shane. Thank you for reminding me to be kinder. For reminding me that mean words hurt just as much as any physical pain. And for reminding me that inner strength and believing in myself can help me move past it all.
We made these funny little men at a puppet making workshop. It was nice to see and learn about the different kinds of puppets and meet the puppeteers. We’re planning to go see a puppet show by Panadream next week.
These guys are super easy to make from cardboard and on the back is a handle made from a block of wood and a bit of dowel so you can spin them and make them dance.
I’m loving all of the free workshops and activities here. I wish there was more public support for arts and festivals in Vancouver. Life is never dull here! We saw an amazing production of Peter Pan in Parc Laurier. The boys have decided that this park is full of magic. Fire breathing dragons one day and piratical clowns the next . . .
Our days are punctuated with visits to the local outdoor pools which are also free during the week. We are lucky to have two right near by but the boys have found their favourite. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that there is a great ice cream shoppe on the way.
With one week left until we go home we are trying to squeeze in all the adventures we can. It’s off to see some friends visiting from Vancouver then the Science Centre and lobster for dinner today. A visit to the tam tams and a trip to parc national des illes-de-Boucherville is planned for tomorrow and I’m hoping to get in at least a little bit of shopping. Next week we are going to re-visit some of our favourite places and celebrate another family birthday. Maybe one more trip to the Botanical Garden and the MMFA for me too!
We spent a rainy morning at the Biodome with most of the rest of Montreal’s summer tourists. Sadly, the otters were taking a nap but this capybara came out to say hello. I’ve been giving the nine year old a little more responsibility and letting him discover the camera. His shots came out pretty well I think.
Both boys are having growth spurts. They’re eating constantly and often sensitive and out of sorts. It’s difficult to support them while we are away from our familiar surroundings.
The four year old has learned to print and draws in every spare moment. He fills pages and pages with letters and drawings. The nine year old however is still a mystery. I’m waiting for his latest development to emerge but it’s not easy!
We have had so many adventures this last week. We have seen acrobats and pirate ships, we’ve eaten the most amazing local produce and incredible raw cheese from Jean Talon market and so much ice cream!
All this good eating has inspired me to run again. It’s been many years since I’ve run and so I’m starting off slow. But I’m sticking with it, this cheese is so good!
Yesterday we explored the Insectarium and Botanical Garden. We spent nearly the whole day playing in the gardens and learning about bugs. At the end of the day, the boys knew that insects only have six legs and that certain insects use behaviour, colour and shape to camouflage themselves. I think it was my favourite outing so far. The perfect combination of outdoor play with a little learning mixed in.
We don’t have all the toys from home to fill those quiet times between outings. Thankfully a pencil, a bit of cardboard and a pair of scissors seems to be all that is required. I love the thought that went into this little cereal box flyer model created by the older one while little brother worked away at filling his sketchbook.
They are each so creative in their own ways. I’m glad they are remembering how much they love to make things even if I have to work a little harder to remind them at times.
First day navigating the city on our own. We are getting used to the time change and the metro system. Today was our museum day. There are so many wonderful “by donation” museums. The boys allowed me a little time at the MMFA where they loved the Picasso and Basquiat paintings in particular. I wish they loved the Group of Seven paintings as much as I do but I’m afraid they were ready to move on by the time we saw them. I’m hoping to go back on my own.
Highlight of the day for the boys was definitely the Redpath Museum on the McGill campus. Fantastic large crystals, animal skeletons, mummies, and pre-Christian artifacts lie beneath old fashioned wood and glass cabinets. It felt like we had gone back in time.
We spent much of our Sunday making art of all kinds. While there wasn’t much patience for the Collecting Matisse exhibit, which I would have loved to linger with, I was so pleased to see them settle down to learn new techniques, build and explore together.
The hands down favourites for us were the shadow puppet landscape curated by Mere Phantoms and the hip hop version of Hansel and Gretel by Project Soul Crew.
It was a wonderfully long and tiring day.
I’ve had this idea on my pinterest summer board since last year. We finally got around to building our own water wall. It was a family effort and so much fun to play with. We used things that we had on hand: a pallet (saved for this purpose last summer), some empty milk and water jugs, a pool noodle, a bit of pvc pipe, duct tape, a bit of scrap wood and some screws. I think it will be a welcome addition to our summer backyard!
Maurice Sendak was a big part of my childhood. I have fond memories of the Pacific Northwest Ballet production of the Nutcracker. I loved his set pieces in particular with their lyrical lines and vibrant colours. I also loved hearing Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen read aloud and I still love reading them both to my own children. In his work, Maurice Sendak was forward thinking, funny and kind without being cloying or patronizing. He didn’t mince words when it came to uncomfortable realities. As a moderately sophisticated kid myself I got that. Knowing those characters were out there made childhood a little easier I think. As a grown up I love this reading by Christopher Walken. I have to think he liked it too.
R.I.P. Maurice Sendak.
This past weekend the boys gave me some time to sew and busied themselves with a little daddy craft time. They turned a bit of foam insulation, some paint and some bits left over from daddy’s work into the Jurassic period. It was nice for them to make something without the mommy filter. They created something that was all theirs and exactly what they wanted. And it was nice for daddy to share his talents with them too.