Papa, c’est pour toi

Nellie-Rose is rocking on her own art extravaganza. Most days on arriving home, I’m presented with one of her latest pieces – mixed media, a painting, or a drawing. She looks at me with a smile and says, “papa, c’est pour toi“.
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I now have a growing body of work and I’m running out of exhibit space. Mé has bought folders for both Nellie and Noah where we can keep the originals of selected treasures. Others will digitized by scanner or photo. I think it will be great for them to see their visually creative stirrings years from now.

This is an early family portrait. Nellie is always positioned right next to maman. She’s her right hand gal. Lila and Noah are orbiting in a free valence kind of way, certainly not part of the central action. I am not really a ping pong ball.

And this suits Nellie’s outlook on the world – crafting with nature. She is a collector of shells, leaves, rocks and twigs. Her coloured hand is sprouting leafy flowers and one is even a coeur d’amour, a heart of hearts.

Merci Nellie pour tes beaux cadeaux. Je les adore. Your art always lifts my heart.

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Awesome!

Teddy has been a lot of things over the years including left behind and lost in Southern California. He made it back home to Halifax that time only to have to hop into a car and drive to Montreal to be reunited with his buddy Noah.

Now, Teddy is a sports star. Not just any sport but the glorious game of hockey. He’s also one of the many inspirations Noah calls upon to practice his writing, spelling and alphabeting. The other morning, maman got the spelling out call – “how do you write awesome?” Noah shouted. Maman thought this was a great chance to use the dictionary but Noah couldn’t wait so he went out on his own.

Maman could hear him voicing out the sounds – “aw, o, aw, o, ssss, ssss, mmmm, mmmm. aw sss mmmm. Maman, come see, come see, I’ve got it.” This is what he came up with – awesome = osm. And how does Teddy fit into all this? Well, he scored seven goals in a hockey game and he was, you guessed it, awesome!

A Palette of Fun

I recently took in Nocturne – art a night. It was a great show with happenings throughout the city. Maybe we’ll see Noah there in a future edition.

He is seeing differently now and capturing it in his paintings. It’s a whole new creative groove for him. I love the jaunty feel of his self portrait, bright and smiling with all 10 fingers. This reproduction doesn’t do the work justice as it truncates his feet.

He loves colour, colours – bright and broad. He knocked off sunrise morning with great satisfaction earlier today.

That’s our car in the foreground ready to drive along the black, black road right into the sunrise.

That’s it for this edition of digital art. Nellie’s coming soon. Her style is going through a great leap also.

Freestyle Land Swim

Lila’s training regime is picking up. Just about a month ago, brother Bob took a look at her cruising along the floor and dubbed it land swimming. It’s a good description. All that’s missing is the water as she puts her arms and legs through the motions of the dry freestyle crawl. Is this a premonition of things to come, or a longing for in uterus floating acrobatics?

She’s good to go on all surfaces – carpet, tile, linoleum, grass and hardwood. She would be a hazard to herself on a outdoor deck though. Noah blazed that particular path of learning for us at about the same age Lila is now and had the slivers to prove it. We took him into the IWK Children’s Hospital and they had a ‘we see a lot of this in the summer’ smile for us. Noah wasn’t in any pain and the slivers worked themselves out over time.

Lila is really working up a good head of steam with her signature version of the dry crawl. There is really no stopping her. Well, stairs do form an impediment going up and a danger in the down direction. On all flat surfaces though she’s becoming a speed demon and can get exactly where she wants to go.

Our girl’s latest twist is the big toe push. As she extends first one leg, then the other, she raises alternate feet with a full flex of the big toe while propelling herself forward. She’s getting traction and covering large distances with the greatest of ease.

Rocking back and forth on hands and knees is becoming a more frequent pastime. There’s a transition in the works. Before long the innovative yet ungainly land swimming will be so passé. In a matter of days, Lila will be launching herself into all fours full scale locomotion – a brand new sport.

The Indelible One

It only takes a minute with Nellie. She sees an opportunity and she goes. Not literally of course, but then again she’s not allowed out on her own. No, I mean she dives into her latest project passionately, fully, deeply.

We’re not sure if it’s fashion madness or faux pas for her most recent adventure. It depends on your point of view. Nellie transforms herself into the amazing human whiteboard. She’s her own design playground. Already she can tote up tattoo artist in her experience column. Not a bad job either given the brief spell she is on her own to create this solo work of fun and fancy. The close up of her sole demonstrates her attention to detail and her flair with the marker.

Being at work, I don’t have the joy of seeing this live. As a consolation prize, I do get to show my workmates a photo and share a good laugh about our talented and unrepentant Nellie-Rose. She is a maverick blazing her own trail. There’s a lot more in store for us. We’ll be well educated over the next few years.

He Shoots, He Scores

Another great evening on the Eastern Passage mini soccer fields. Our lad Noah runs half the pitch nicely controlling the ball all the way to the goal. He pops it into the net and runs back toward his team mates. He’s euphoric, ecstatic almost orbital.

We relive the feat when we get home for maman’s benefit. We go through the paces again as he settles into bed for the night. It’s a play by play not only of the action but of the crowd response too. Still awake well over an hour after his usual bedtime, he tells maman that he wants to score a goal with his head.

He’s eager for the next game. Now that he knows there is a tournament on the horizon, he’s musing out loud wondering if they will be getting another medal. Granma Helen and Grampa Bob are regulars on Tuesdays. I’ve told GH she can stop watching the Premier League now and concentrate on the games in the The Passage. Maybe she could even be a scout for the big leagues. Right now Noah has a good combo – the legs, the coordination and the heart. He’s having plenty of fun.

Montréal by Night

Time out on the town is an infrequent treat for Mé and I. When we get to solo it’s a blast, like drinking a good long draught of playful fancy. Our last night in Sorel and we’re zipping west down the 30 to Montréal. The three babies are with grand-maman and grand-papa being lavished with final moments of delicious spoiling prior to our Nova Scotia departure.

We’re on our way to an African celebration at le Cabaret du Mile-End on Avenue du Parc in the heart of Montréal’s Plateau district. It’s the kick-off for the well-established Nuits d’Afrique festival now in its 24th year.

Mé finds the club as I’m parking the car – in an expensive, we’re giving you a ticket spot as it later turns out. There is only a trickle of people arriving. Up two flights of stairs and into the venue. It’s packed. All 500 seats and more are taken. There is a hum of excitement in the air, that electric charge of pre-show anticipation. We find seats at a table that already has two occupants and settle in.

A symphony of languages swirls through the room. Flowing boubous of riotous colours are tropical beacons in the dimly lit interior. This is an evening to step out and salute African culture and music. I’m happy we’re here together to hear Dobet Ghanoré, a rising star from Côte d’Ivoire. The fans on her myspace page are a who’s who of African music. This is no surprise given her voice, musical arrangements and arresting stage presence.

Our table companions are a brother and sister in their 40s, or early 50s from the city. We speak a little over the buzz sharing snippets like bite-sized amuse-gueules. We hear the voice first and then Ghanoré takes the stage, embracing us in a sweep of her arm. For the rest of the evening, we are transported to her place of dance, of drum, of story and for good measure some sweet West African guitar licks.

Thanks Dobet. It’s a night out to remember – festival city, vibrant beats and time alone with my love. That time alone piece is hard to squeeze in with three under fives. When it does roll around at the end of the day, we’re usually dragging our asses, or lolling into sleep. It’s fun to get out and stir it up.