Sunday, July 28, 2013

Carlsbad and Sitti's Good!

I've always loved my mother-in-law, but she just keeps getting better!  My kids love her, too! Thanks Sitti for letting us stay with you all week long!

Michael had a lot of (well deserved) relaxation time since Sitti helped so much with the kids.  He read a whole novel - huge for him!

Mila knew that we loved it when she did this - so she'd start doing it just to make us faint from the cuteness!

 Mila pulls hair and hard, but somehow it doesn't hurt Avi!

Avi wooing us with her cuteness!

If one does it the other usually will, too!

 we went to Legoland!

This princess was 14-years-old. Avi will be that old in 10 short years!  Ba-haaaa waaa-waaaaa!

Sitti got her the dress, fairy wings and stuffed unicorn at Legoland.  I won her the red dragon and got her a pink hair extension.  She slept with all her loot (though I did take the wings off of her so that she could roll over in the middle of the night)!

The view of the playground from our room!

date night! So much fun!


Friday, July 19, 2013


We took 19 delicious days to go to Montreal this summer - a city Michael has been wanting to visit for nearly a decade.

Being such a proud international traveler by pulling her own ladybug bag!

Waving to a airport worker - she was so interested in all this new stuff that'd she would just stop walking and stare!

Mila is 20.2 pounds!  Not going to check her - she's a carry-on for sure!

Oh, how I love her sleepiness on me!

Avi's first man-mover?  She loved it (and the lights above her head) at Chicago's O'Hare.

On the 2 flights there both the girls did really good!

Our first picture in Montreal - just a random building right around the corner from our townhouse.

Avi loved taking the subway!

Circus on the street!  Gabriel and Dave in the background.

Night trapeze free show!

Avi loved hanging out with Gabriel - he was sweet fun friend!

Oh, I love holding her in the ergo, but it's getting harder - she's so squirmy and getting heavier!

Our townhouse, located in Montreal's cool "Le Plateau" neighborhood

The titles are in Francais!

A "we arrived; let's celebrate" 2pm cocktail!  

another festival with kids entertainment!

an amazing hamburger joint.  mila just loved the atmosphere!

our awesome townhouse!

free street performance

One of the favorite parts of our neighborhood - the stone ice cream shop in the park!

We got ice cream every-other day... But she asked every hour (errr... every day)!

Avi did so much walking - she was amazing!  But sometimes she got tired...  Here's she's play sleeping!

cool Metro wall

Thank goodness for our double stroller!

The Canadians didn't want you to take pictures in public places where kids were - like pools. (So I had to sneak my camera!)

The Jazz Festival has so many kid friendly activities (including huggable hippos)!

our neighborhood

a free performance - very interactive!  Avi loved it!

street art was revolutionary (and fun)!

Gotta keep your eyes on this one at all times!

we took a little boat around the St Lawrence River.

on the cobblestone streets of Old Porte.  400+ years old. Not a drop of blood every fought for a war in this town - I love those peaceful Canadians!

posed pictures quickly become silly time!

4 legs a-dangling

almost home

the strangest bathroom i've ever been in!  The ceiling was just tall enough for Avi to stand up!

more interactive art! (The look Avi is giving me is so 14-years-old!)

Notre Dame church - loved this part of town!

About 6 houses away from our townhouse was a fancy restaurant - so Dave and Heidi watched the kids and we went on a date!

Complimentary desserts - super tiny but oh so rich!

I was cold (even though it never got below 70 there) and so I (jokingly) asked Michael to give me his shirt.  The sweetheart did!

Mila had a nasty habit of waking up at 7am while Avi slept in til 9am.  So one of us would take Mila out and about so that we wouldn't wake up Avi (and the other could sleep in too).  It actually turned into some of our most memorable moments - exploring with nowhere in particular to go - happy Mila as our companion....

I loved seeing Avi and this grown girl mirroring each other.

Precious cargo Michael pulled up and down the bike path streets of Montreal!

I took Avi to her first movie while Michael stayed home with sleeping Mila and wrote.  It was a little tricky getting to the theater - the first one we went to was in French!

At a neighborhood water park with Gabriel

barely, barely fitting into those swim panties, little Mila!

Avi is so sweet about sharing (with us all)! Mila always grunted for ice cream, then once it would touch her lips she would grimace (probably from the cold).  Twenty seconds later she would be grunting for another bite!

one of my favorite buildings in old Montreal!  This was the ship masters building, I believe.

we went to the Biodome - awesome multi-climate indoor zoo!

one of Avi's favorite animals

nursing break on the subway

date night!  concert!
biking home in the dark - the streets were empty.  we owned the night!  so much fun! (kids were with our American-Candian babysitter sleeping peacefully!)

Down pour!  We went out for about 60 seconds came back drenched!  Aveah was equally interested and scared... So afterwards we took a warm bath together.  Love.

Biking home I saw this impromptu concert - street piano and opera singer.  A crowd of about 40 had gathered.

date night: Ethopian food, Mexican dessert at another restuarant, & Italian singing in the park.  All within 1 city block of our house!

we got the babysitter to listen to Mila sleep and took Avi on a date to see the fireworks!  

There was a glass wall that looked down onto our favorite bakery's kitchen.  Mila made the workers smile.

she chose this over ice cream.  good choice.

St Joseph's Oratory - a magical evening!

See Avi?

Avi wanted to go to Mass so Michael took her for the remaining 15 or so minutes.  He said she was totally transfixed!

So, 4 days before this picture was taken, I woke up and couldn't walk on my right leg.  My left hip hurt SO bad!  I finally rented crutches just to get around the city.  I went to the chiropractor twice and the acupuncturist once.  This day, I woke up and could walk, but still hurt and was really tight.  Well, totally randomly we decided to go to this church today - I had no idea this was  a pilgrimage for crippled people to come, pray and be healed!  Those are MY crutches there - when I prayed I could feel the warmth in my leg.  Afterwards, I could put full weight on my leg and walked without a limp for the first time in over half a week!
A man who only spoke French came up to me and asked something along the lines of "Are those your crutches?" I nodded yes.  He seemed amazed that I was healed right there!  We couldn't speak that well, my English, his French, but finally I got the point across that I had been hurting for 4 days.  He seemed to loose the appreciation for the miracle once he realized I was just recently lame.  But let me tell you (and myself later when I read this someday) - being lame for 4 days felt long enough - and God's gracious healing was felt with an extremely grateful heart by me!  Thank you, God for doing even the "smallest" of miracles!

breakfast down the street from our home.

the day Avi ate so many creamers she got sick to her tummy.

a wonderful picnic dinner on a fitted bed sheet.  Michael and Avi played games with the sheet after dinner.

what Avi chose for lunch: grapes, crackers and brie - she ate it all!

inside Notre Dame at night!

lighting a candle for Grandma Carmen - we love you!

late dinner afterwards.  French restaurant - great food. only half a block from our house.  This street was only for pedestrians, was paved in tiles, and had 30-40 restaurants lined on both sides that went on for about half a mile!

so used to riding the bus by now!

a morning with Mila!

Maren and Mila snuck in to see the "glass bottom" pool at the Westin - it wasn't that impressive.

Maime Claufotis!

street piano!

a waterpark right in the middle of downtown!

we got caught in a downpour on the way home! We are all drenched and happy!

napping with Avi - a cuddly afternoon while Mila slept, and the rain came down hard outside. Inside, Maren, Aveah and Michael all napped together.

our final date night - out to see the free comedy and clown shows

my last Montreal morning with Mila at Marche Jean-Talon

afternoon date to the coolest spa and sauna boat in the world!  spa sur la eau!

on our last night in town, we took Avi to see the street festivals while the sitter stayed with sleeping Mila.

Michael and Avi dancing on the stage.

Avi had so much fun on her date with just the 2 of us!

On the flight home - Mila and Avi greet our neighbors.

I couldn't get Mila to sleep on me, but Michael put her right to sleep - here's what I wrote him right after I took these pictures: "You're so sexy, amazing and competent right now.  You're my knight in shining armor!  There is nothing sweeter than seeing her relax in your arms & sleep on your sexy chest."

4 hour delay in flights.  The girls did okay, but the later flight home proved pretty disastrous for Avi who moaned/cried for about an hour before going to sleep finally at like 11pm!
She "should" be napping right now...

Finally asleep after hours of fighting it!