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Hi. I'm Erica. Thanks for visiting. Stay a while. Have a look around. Leave a comment. Let's talk, k? 

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"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Stella: So happy to be back home. As quick as she could, she was back to afternoons in the pool, no doubt reveling in the warm water after such a cold "summer" holiday.

Hugo: He's happy wherever we are. And wherever he has access to plenty of cucumbers. Which are officially his favourite food. 



"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Stella: Burning up energy before  a long flight home.

Hugo: Super stoked about grass. And fresh air. And being outside. 

We spent the last day of our holiday in Zurich, killing time before our midnight flight. I do enjoy a good overnight flight, especially when traveling with kids, as they're more prone to sleeping, which means parents are less prone to going insane. But that final day of vacation, when you've already checked out of the hotel, and it's 11 long hours before that flight departs, well that's always a bit of a pickle. 

We chose to wile away those long hours wandering the streets of downtown Zurich, eating sausages, and then doing a whole lot of nothing in the park by the Zurich See, while having a thousand conversations starting with the phrase, "why don't we live here, exactly?"

It was a solid choice, really; a good strategy for our final day. But I will say that perhaps the skies were a little too blue, and the breeze just a little too fresh, and the inevitable ice cream a little too delicious, for they all made saying good bye just that much harder. Until next time, Switzerland. Until next time. 



"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Stella: Arms streched out, spinning, and singing. The hills are indeed alive.

Hugo: Spent a month, basically, like this, strapped to my back, exploring the world.




"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Stella: In Montreal, where we ate our weight in smoked meat.

Hugo: In Italy, where we ate our weight in gelato. And gorgonzola. And bresaola. And ragu. Etc. Etc. Etc.

While the landscapes in Italy and Switzerland were breathtaking and inspired many millions of pictures, I took only a handful of poor Hugo. M. Bear. This is likely a consequence of being pre-mobile and permanently strapped to the photographer's back in an Ergo carrier. Or it could be the second child syndrome? You be the judge.





"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Stella: We spent the day in Eastern Ontario at my Auntie's farm. There was green grass between her toes and and acres of open space. What a privilege for her to feel the warm sun setting over these wide vistas, and know the a little of the landscape of my heart.

Hugo: We spent a week at my other Auntie's house. And unfortunately, he kept falling down and smacking his head on this rug. 



Okay, I'm only posting this today so that I won't have back-to-back 52 posts. Guys, blogging on holiday is just more than I can muster. Too much relaxing. (Actually not nearly enough relaxing. That's the nature of the expat holiday home. But that might be a problems-that-are-not-actually-problems post for an other day.)

Anyway, without further adoo...

So, I’ll tell you, one thing that makes for a memorable summer holiday is a hospital stay. Not that I’d reeeeally advocate this method of cementing cherished memories of summers past, but there you have it. We ended up in the ER with a very sick Hugo Bear.


Midway through our Michigan sojourn, Hugo developed a weird infection (??) rash (??) on his BCG injection site. I was worried enough to not consult Dr. Google but go directly to our Michigan paediatrician. They didn’t think much of it, but invited us back for a well baby visit two days later.


Two days hence Mr. H. M. Bear was not a very well baby.


He had a 40 degree fever, murder diapers, and vom fountains. I had a case of maternal anxiety / mild panic. Towards the end of the day on the Thursday, I called the doctor’s office to check if they thought I should bring Hugo to the hospital. They said go. 


And so we went.


I was expecting to be given a dose of Tylenol and perhaps a bag of fluids and sent on our merry way. I did not expect to spend the next five or so days in the hospital. But alas, that’s what happened.


Our first night in the ER was totally unpleasant. Especially for Mr. Bear. He was poked and prodded, feverish and barfy and he barely slept a wink. 


(An aside: I’ll tell you one thing, this was one instance where an excess of baby chub, which in other circumstances is so cozy and punchable, did not serve our interests. Super fat dehydrated babies, as it turns out, are near impossible to get an IV into. Can we talk about 13 pokes, 9 different people, and about 4 hours to get some fluids into this boy?? Yikes.)


The doctors were kinda stumped as to the cause of Hugo’s illness. They thought it might be an auto-immune disease, or perhaps a virus, or maaaaybe a tropical nasty. So erring on the side of caution, they had us in isolation and under contact precautions (which in case you didn’t know, because I sure didn’t, means a room with an air lock, and doctors / nurses / housekeepers / room service attendants in full gown / mask regalia.)


He underwent a million tests, all of which tuned up inconclusive. And so, Hugo’s illness remains a mystery.   


On day three? Four? of the hospital stay, Hugo’s fever reduced, and then finally broke. And after a day of resting, he perked right up. It took a few days to return to normal levels of Hugo smiles, but we got there after not too long. And boy am I glad. 




"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014."

Stella: I asked her to stand still. I wanted to play around with back lighting (because I do love it so!) Instead she decided to run laps around the lawn. I did manage to snap this one though. 

Hugo: Hospital life. We spent five days in the hospital before finally getting discharged. 

I think I'm going to just admit that I've got to fold my blog hand when on vacation. I can't seem to find the time to open my computer. Nap time, which is my blog time, is so often spent as travel time so as to minimize the horrors of being strapped into a car seat. And once bedtime rolls around, I roll straight in there too. All the excitement and disruption of being away from home makes these two kids pretty restless at night. So, I maximize every moment of eyes-closed time to close my eyes as well. 

Annnnyway, I'll live in hope that I'll be better next week? 

Linking up with Jodi and Living Arrows.