A Travellerspoint blog

Let it snow! Let it snow!

Eleni's first snow fall and first snow storm

snow -8 °C

Woo Hoo! Montreal had its first snow fall this week, followed by its first snow storm of the season two days later.

I had trouble getting out of bed on Tuesday morning, then I remembered that it might have snowed. Sure enough the whole streetscape was carpeted in fresh snow.

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I soon found out that the first snow fall each season throws all the traffic into chaos, especially for those who had put off putting on their snow tyres. It made me glad we didn't have a car, which would need excavating from the icy snow before going anywhere.

Eleni even got to play with the snow (even if only on our balcony).

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Two days later Montreal had its first snow storm for the season. Five - ten centimeters of snow, woo hoo! We took our snow boots out of storage.

Saturday was cold but sunny so after swimming.....

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we headed out into the snow to play at the bottom of Mount Royal. It was great to have some family time enjoying snow in our own town. The mountain looked spectacular! There were others out enjoying the snow including skiers going up and down the mountain and even a mountain biker.

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While we were out and about in the snow we saw a couple towing a toddler in a small sled. So on Sunday we bought a little sled for towing Eleni (easier than putting snow tyres on the stroller!)

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Lets just say we are enoying this new side of Montreal. We're looking forward to some iceskating and tobogganing real soon

Love Marty & Jen x

Posted by JenniM 14:01 Archived in Canada Comments (3)

Yes folks its Christmas time!

-2 °C

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It's amazing how much kids learn about Christmas through osmosis. Three years ago on the eve of Eleni's 1st Christmas we decided not to 'sell' Santa, talk about Christ's birth, Saint Nic etc but what does Eleni ask about as we sit in anticipation of Montreal's Christmas parade..... When is Santa coming, amazing and she doesn't even go to school yet!

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The parade was fun but we got there early for a good spot only to realise how cold it gets when you're in one spot with added wind chill factor. I think it was like - 4 with wind chill. Numb toes and noses all around.

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We did have fun, all the usual suspects were there including dancing dolls and dancing presents, clowns, the wintery weird and wonderful. Eleni got a little thrill out of it all.

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Posted by JenniM 16:56 Archived in Canada Comments (3)

Worries and Flurries

Miss Eleni continued

snow 3 °C

On the subject of Miss Eleni, she is now recovering from a near textbook case of croup. Her runny nose from Sunday transformed itself into a barking cough, which woke her up on Monday night. By Tuesday night she was fighting for breath and we decided to visit the Montreal Children's hospital.

It turns out that taking her out into the cold night air may have actually helped, quite counter intuitive. But a little late for that knowledge by then. After a couple of doses of epi Jen & Eleni ended up spending the night in the short stay unit, (thank God for health insurance!)

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Marty came to help us back to from the hospital and deliver breakfast for Jen (maybe we should have done a run for all the parents in the unit because there was none offered, Jen figured with the cost for an over night stay, we're talking thousands, a little breakfast for Mum would have been nice!) Eleni is now much improved, but still a little congested and is still occasionally doing chipmunk impressions.

Once we were finally discharged we went out to wait for the bus and were totally surprised by our first flurry experience! For the uninitiated Marty says it's very fine ice mist that instantly melted on the skin, but sat for long enough to be seen on our scarves. Jen described it like tiny little hail stones, well that's what they look like but yes they did instantly dissolve on contact. Woo hoo our first snow showers! Check out the photo, it's the best we could do from inside, well I wasn't going out in it again, it was 3 deg at the time!

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And now Miss E after running and playing and saying she is much better has crashed on the floor of our bedroom with a pillow on her head fast asleep. She said she was waiting for Daddy to come back for a pillow fight but.... I'm guessing even Eleni needs more than 4 hours sleep a night.

We are so pleased that it was a simple croup case though we did get immediate attention at emergency. Eleni was a dream patient and her treatments worked wonders. She is a-ok we just need to keep a close eye on her for a little and give her lots of love!

Hugs to you all..... us xxxx

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Posted by JenniM 12:24 Archived in Canada Tagged health_and_medicine Comments (5)

Eleni's Growth

The life and times of the little Miss...

semi-overcast 6 °C

Hey all, we thought it was time to update you on Eleni. I know some of you are missing her so we thought we'd let you know what she is up to, growth, social etc etc.

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So firstly let me say Eleni is growing like a weed, all of 101cm (3' 3.5") tall the girl knows no bounds and weighs 17kg. She's now 3 1/2 yrs old and the growth things isn't slowing down. She onto a size 9 (Canadian) shoe and we've started the parental lament of, not another pair of shoes. I think that makes 3 sizes in 6 months????

Strangely enough Eleni has developed a thing for the phone. It becomes a competition on who can answer first. I am trying to teach her to answer with "hello who is it?", I've gone for the simpler route as her normal answer is, "Hello Daddy". Yes very cute but I've had many people confused and the occasional French local hangup!

Eleni loves to be read to and has even started making up her own stories. If things are a little fraught I ask Eleni to read to me, she has a fantastic memory for the story and will also make up stories related to the pictures.

Miss E's great loves at the moment are pirates and princesses. Closely followed by her knights and 'babies'. Oh there are also her cars and rubber ducks and should I mention her colouring, beads, photography and painting and digging at the park. Ok she loves lots of things but we love the fact that it's all still very broad, nothing is excluded because it's a girl or boy thing (though a little boy of 5 did try to tell her today that she is a girl and shouldn't play monsters or she'll get hurt, I squashed that one pretty quick). She loves to 'sword' fight with Daddy, look after her baby dolls and race her cars to the finish line, did I also mention her love of running from the monster or pretending to be a monster depending on her mood. No fear just lots of fun for her and anyone she is with. Oh yes and we are back into swimming (even when it's 0 outside!)

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Eleni can count to 10 in 3 languages and i have to admit I think her French is developing much faster than mine, I think those books Daddy reads at bedtime help.

She loves to cook with me especially if it something yummy because she's already learnt the art of licking the bowl cleaning. We are presently trying to tell Eleni her birthday only happens once a year but it's ok because we can make chocolate cake without a birthday. We're calling it an "I love you cake!"

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Eleni is also learning to write her name. She can spell it aloud and recognises her alphabet and now we are starting on letter writing. It's fun especially when she insists on writing an 'E' with at least 5 (someimes 7) horizontal stripes instead of 3!

Eleni is a chatter in case you didn't know, she draws lots of attention in the street with many people stopping to chat to her, it's just a pity that often it is in French. we love her to pieces and though she loves to push the boudaries she is growing into a pretty polite, happy and special little girl and we thank God for her ever single day.

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Posted by JenniM 15:59 Archived in Canada Comments (2)

Marty's Birthday

15 °C

Woo hoo! I’m another year older!

I got to celebrate getting older by getting up at sunrise and going swimming with Eleni (her lessons at the local pool). Birthday breakfast afterwards made up for the early start (which wouldn’t have felt early for my 10th birthday but felt way too early for a birthday in the thirties). I had requested a re-creation of the “Canadian Breakfast” served at Byron Bay’s Beach Café. Jen had her bacon and eggs on a bagel instead of pancakes and now I’m thinking that maybe Jen’s Montréal breakfast with maple syrup would have been the better option.

With thanks to the international dateline, Dimitri could ring me from New Zealand on his birthday and wish me happy birthday on mine (his is normally the day after). The novelty of this opportunity helped me forgive him for waking me up during a birthday nap I had requested. Jen was happy for me to have a birthday nap as it kept me out of the kitchen. When I came out with the phone talking to Dimitri, Eleni was covered in chocolate cake mix. Jen treated me to an amazing slow cooked lamb roast for dinner shared with our new friends. If you hadn’t heard we’ve been missing lamb, as it is harder and more expensive to find here in Quebec.

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I knew that two of the Terry Pratchett books that I haven’t read yet should be out around my birthday, but Jen upped the surprise by giving me an autographed first edition of “Making Money”.

I know people feel funny about sending gift vouchers or money, but this year I enjoyed the opportunity to shop for what I liked. This meant that I could find indoor soccer boots from my parents that fit well and were comfortable. The shopping expedition earlier in the month helped, because I found a jacket I liked from Jen’s parents.

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I was trying to become less attached to stuff, after having to sell, give away and store all our worldly possessions to move over here. But now I’m just praying that when we head back to Australia, I’ll get a job that is prepared to ship some of our belongings with us. Speaking of material things, we are just about ready for Winter, the three of us now have hats/beanies, scarves, thermal layers, winter coats, and insulated boots. Jen even managed to find boots that match her coat! We finally found the boots on Sunday so she has boots rated down to at least minus 24 °C, though the temperature outside was positive 24 °C. This is 10 degrees above average for October and just beat the previous record for that day set in 1979.

The following weekend was an extension of my birthday when Jen arranged a boys lunch for me at a local restaurant with a group of guys I have met whilst being here. It was a lot of fun and I am realising how much God has looked after us since we have been here.

Ok, until next time, Marty…….

Posted by JenniM 17:39 Archived in USA Comments (3)

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