Josée in Ottawa


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Things Kids Don’t Know That We Don’t Realize They Don’t Know (Or Maybe it’s Just My Kids)

At supper the other day B.G. let out a big fart and then started giggling. The following conversation followed:

Hubby: “You know, it’s not very polite to fart at the table.”

B.G:  “Mme X at school always says “Get OUT!” when someone farts in class. I don’t think that’s very nice. What are we supposed to do?”

Hubby: “Hold it in!”

B.G. (perplexed): “…What do you mean, hold it in? I don’t know how to do that.”

Bonhomme (waving his hands in the air): “Oh, I do! I do!”

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I Think We Just Had The Perfect Day. Huh.

And it happened completely by accident. Many, if not most, of our family outings turn out more like this.

It’s a rule that you can’t plan a perfect day, it just has to happen on its own. We didn’t have any plans today, so there were no expectations. We lazed about all morning, and then decided to take a bike ride along the Rideau River. B.G. is finally able to ride at a reasonable speed, and Bonhomme is still light enough to be pulled in the Chariot trailer, so this is the first summer that we can all ride together. We packed a snack and headed out.

It was quite a sight to see B.G. happily pedalling hard to keep up with Hubby, her skirt fluttering out behind her. (My tomboy princess loves her dresses and skirts. No shorts or jeans for this girl, no siree. Sigh.) B.G. absolutely loves riding her bike and didn’t complain once about being tired (I’ll be diplomatic here and just say that she was uncharacteristically bubbly). Bonhomme, snug in the Chariot with his juice and snack, had no reason to complain either.

We made it all the way from Strathcona Park to the Rideau Falls, where we stopped for a rest:

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We saw the royal swans and a few of their friends along the way (note the black bird sitting on the rock in the upper right-hand corner of the photo – a cormorant?):

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We had such a great time that I would have called it a perfect day even if the fun had ended there, but we happened upon a police training exercise later in the day:

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Bonhomme was in heaven. Hubby was admiring the  bikes (I could read his mind; he’ll get a bike over my dead body!) and I didn’t mind the view one little bit either. 🙂

And then, my favourite event of the summer, Fortissimo on Parliament Hill:

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Today the fantasy and the reality were one.


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Our Trip to the Rockies, Statistically Speaking

  • Kilometres flown: 2,874 x 2
  • Kilometres driven: 1,529
  • Provinces crossed: 3
  • Number of beautiful lakes we dipped our toes in: 4
  • Number of lakes I wouldn’t let B.G. dip her toes in due to warnings about “swimmer’s itch”: 1
  • Average temperature of the lakes we visited, in degrees Celsius: 4
  • Visits to the hotel pool: 5
  • Hailstorms endured: 1
  • Hotels we slept in: 3
  • Number of times B.G. puked: 1
  • Number of times I was puked on: 0
  • Cowboys we saw during our trip: 2
  • Ice cream cones eaten: 5
  • Number of mountains we saw: Lost count
  • Number of times I said, “Oh my God it’s soooo beautiful here”: Lost count
  • Chances that we’ll return to the Rockies: 99.9%

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I’m So Far Out of My Comfort Zone I think I’ve Left the Milky Way. On a Horse.

I rode a horse in the rocky mountains. A horse. In the rockies. I have proof:

Me. On a horse.

After a traumatizing incident involving a runaway horse and a barbed wire fence when I was in high school I swore I would never ride a horse again. (I wasn’t hurt – but I could have been.) When I was planning our trip out west to visit my sister, I asked B.G. what she’d like to do. Her eyes lit up and she almost shouted, “Ride a horse!” How could I say no? We were heading to cowboy country, after all. But the idea terrified me.

(Total number of cowboys we saw on our trip, minus the one running the ranch we rode at: 1. His shirt was so red and his hat was so white that I still think he may have been a tourist, all gussied up. Guess all the cowboys went on vacation after the Calgary Stampede.)

At first my plan was to send my sister and B.G. riding without me. I was fine with this plan until my sister suggested we also go white water rafting during our trip. Suddenly that became my number one fear and riding a horse seemed totally feasible – I’m even more afraid of water than I am of horses. So when ranch day arrived I gamely saddled up, with a bit of a whole lot of effort. We meandered down the trail and things were going fine until I noticed the trail getting closer and closer to the edge of a rather steep cliff. Horses are surefooted, right? That’s what I kept telling myself as the space between the trail and the edge whittled down to less than an inch. Then our guide, Emma, told us to lean forward on the uphills and backwards on the downhills “to help the horse keep his balance”. Ummm, really? The horse needs my help to keep his balance? I can barely stay in the saddle! I’m gripping the horn so tightly my knuckles are white! This is too much responsibility! Help!

B.G. and my sister loved going uphill. All I could think about was that at some point we would have to come back down. And we did – on a forty-five degree incline covered in rocks. The guide told us to let our horse “have his head” so that he could pick the best route. Yikes! I actually asked her if I could close my eyes. She said yes.

I did open them in time to take in the amazing view:

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PS – I went white water rafting too. 😮


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Whiplash

I’ve been toying with the idea of starting an anonymous blog, so that I can say what I want without censoring myself. Lately every time I start to write a post I wonder, “Should I post this?” “What will so-and-so think if I tell this story?” “Will I come off like a bad mom if I share this?” It’s gotten to the point where I haven’t been posting anything at all.

So… Instead of starting an anonymous blog when I already have a perfectly good blog going, and since I only have about two faithful readers (I promise not to talk smack about you guys – at least not without giving you a heads up first. 🙂 Yes, I’m talking to you mom…) I’m just going to throw caution to the wind and post whatever I want. So the tone of my blog posts may be about to change…

I’ve also just discovered the publicize button, so I may return to twitter after an extended absence. It was a nice break, but I must admit I’ve missed it.

And let me get this out of the way right now: I won’t be winning any mom-of-the-year awards this year.

J