Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Visit From Auntie Sebrina and Uncle AJ

We just said good-bye last week to Sebrina and AJ, who flew in for the weekend from Calgary. It has been awhile since we had a big visit with these two - we had such a fun time.

A wicked storm hit the night they arrived - Tornadoes actually touched down just north of the city. Carmon had started BBQ'ing before the storm hit, but by the time he had to flip the steaks it was nasty out there. Never mind the lightning, he was more concerned about getting soaking wet - thus arming himself with a toque and a jacket...hmmm...

Uncle AJ is a baseball fanatic, so two baseball games to see the Jays play the Angels were in order.

We took a trip to Niagara Falls and made a stop in Niagara On The Lake for a winery tour at Jackson Triggs.

Our days were relaxed, the weather was just right, and I was able to enjoy a glass of wine once little Max was tucked into bed.

Thank you Sebrina and AJ for a fantastic visit - we enjoyed having you so much!

The Freedom of Summer

I was shocked today when I realized that it was already August 27th. The summer is essentially over, kids are heading back to school and I feel lucky that I am not yet having to gear up for my own 'back to school' anxiety quite yet. Being off this summer was bliss. I am thankful to have spent time with family and friends, being shut off from work and the stress that comes with it. I am sure that at some point I will crave the intense pace again but for now, I just want to feel that freedom of summer for a little bit longer...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


'Intro. To Solids' continues and Max is tolerating this new form of eating. Some days are good, and then there are others where I can barely jam one bite into his little mouth before he turns his head and sighs, as if bored by this new menu option. I'll be the first to admit that rice cereal does look a little sad and I am looking forward to introducing some more colorful meals shortly. Perhaps mashed peas, runny applesauce, and lumpy sweet potato will pique his interest? I will continue to be persistent in offering these 'delicious' dinner options...just as long as I don't have to eat it!

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's no birthday cake...

...but oh how cute to see Max enjoying his first bites of rice cereal. Six months today, our little monkey is getting very grown up - happy 1/2 year birthday!

Monday, August 10, 2009

The 20 Pound Hot Potato

Our little mister is getting heavy! But that didn't stop anyone from taking a turn at a snuggle while we were home...

Auntie Brookelyn and the Paparazzi

Uncle Dan

Auntie Lola and Cousin Meriah

Emma Heystek

Great Geddie Victor and Great Grandpa Clifford

Great Grandma Eileen and Great Baba Susie

Great Grandma Gertrude

Grandpa Dean

Uncle Eric

...yes, we did get a turn too!

Uncle Ian

Grandpa Brent

Baba Cynthia

Grandma Rita

Auntie Brenda

Katrina Tuchscherer

Tara West

Uncle Vern

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Happy 2nd My Dear!

...2 years ago today, oh what a happy day that was. I sure do love you my husband!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Alberta and Missing Grandpa Barr

We have just returned from a trip to Alberta to see family and friends. Before we left, I was ready to break away from our routine and looked forward to some home cooking from both Carmon's mom and my mom, oh and to not have to clean our house for almost 2 weeks - bliss. It is funny how just a little time away can rejuvenate you and by the time we were heading back to Toronto I was ready to get back in the swing of things again. Cooking, groceries, bootcamp, stroller walks, structured naps, laundry and even a little cleaning.

Unfortunately, while we were away, we had to deal with another death in our family. This time it was my Grandpa Barr. Grandpa was just about 80 years old and was still incredibly active and ambitious. He loved puttering around in his yard and his garden, woodworking, writing poetry and baking. Grandpa will be remembered for many things, but what I will remember most was his love for food.

Grandpa Barr and Max April 2009

Grandpa always grew the sweetest corn and when I was a child he would share it with family, friends and neighbours by hosting a corn roast at the end of the summer. The kids would sit by the fire anxiously waiting for our corn to be roasted to perfection, unwrap it and dip it in a tall tupperware container filled with melted butter. I can't imagine how many bricks of butter it took to fill that container but it was just the coolest thing to be able to plunge our cobs right into it - just like they dipped the soft ice cream in chocolate at the Ponderosa drive in.

Grandpa was famous for his fruit pies and I always loved to sample his pie of the moment, depending on which fruit was in season. His crusts were perfection, not too thick and wonderfully flaky.

Best of all was his dill bread - fluffy white bread with flecks of dill and the most delightful sweet egg wash on the top. Somehow Grandpa seemed to know when it was the right time to share a loaf and I always felt special when I was given my very own mini loaf to devour alone.

Grandpa was so happy to meet Max and we had a nice visit with him in April when we were home. He followed our blog and had sent me some wonderful emails over the past 6 months. The emails are full of spelling and grammar errors - which makes them seem more authentic somehow, I can just see Grandpa pecking away on his laptop...

This email was sent on Feb 14 - the day Max was born, before the news had reached home.

Just about a mother. You will never be quite the same. I can't wait to see the little guy .Have you got a name picked out. Alice and I could never agree on a name until the last day when we were to go home and we had to have a name to put on the birth certifate. We would get into the truck and the first thing I would do was light up a cegerete. They would hang me by the family jewels if it was today.I guess baby's were tougher in those days. More exciting to.No set belts and kids flooting around in the car from the front seat to the back. We never lost one. Times have sure changed .Maybe for the better -- maybe.We will keep watching your blog for any breaking news.We send you two our love and our wish that all goes well Your Grand dad Jim

Another email, later that day...

Your dad just dropped over to tell us the wonderful news .Congratulations. Max ,I'll have to get used to that name.Max ----'The most' and that is what he is right now.And in an atempt to be funny I could say you are Maxed out. I'm sure you are rather busy right now so I won't expect a reply for a while. Injoy your bundle of joy Your Grandpa .

March 5.

Your dad brought over some pictures of Max when we were having coffee with Helen and Goerge. Thanks they were great. New babys grow and change awfuly fast as you probably.have discouvered We had made dill bread and it was still warm so they had some with there coffee and we sent a loaf home with your dad . He was happy because he didn't have to share it with Eric. We check your blog and injoy watching Max change. Can you remember the old house or was it taken down? I have a lot of memories of your kids when they were babies in that house. Enough for now. Love your Grandpa.

March 13.

Hi Cheryl. On your latest blog I was over joyed to hear that Max is to carry on at least one of the Barr traites eg the noisey sometimes embarrassing release of gas. I myself have been ( for the quanty I posess) listed as a natural resource in case the gas wells fail to produce. No need to add a smell detection substence it comes free. I have heard it also burns with a blue flame. Tell Max to keep the good work and to carry on this great -tradition . One , it is said must choose their perents well and Max has done very well indeed. It is my hope that he doesn't take on some of my realy bad habits. Bye for now your Grandpa.

Of course now I wish that we had been corresponding by email earlier, that we had spent more time with Grandpa when we did get home, and that he would be able to watch Max grow and feel the joy from a smile from his first Great Grandchild. We will miss you Grandpa!