Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Woo hoo! I finally took the time to figure out how to reclaim my blog back after [long, boring story so I won't go into it].

Guess what - I had a baby, my eldest is in her second year of school, I'm busier than ever with a variety of projects AND we're all going home for Thanksgiving! For a month! Yes, I said "home" in reference to Virginia as always but to be fair nowadays I refer to France as home, too. My daughter seems to be able to keep it straight so I'm going with it. She's in the middle of her Princessy Princess phase and I'm just going with that, too. I've found if I play Wicked Stepmother to her Snow White I can get her to do what needs to be done and she doesn't get too moody about it.

My youngest, who we call Fang as his canines are coming in before his front teeth (those are, what, cuspids?), is a pistol and doing well. I'm actually torn between calling him Fang and Hillbilly as he teeters on the edge of looking more like the guy who catches snapping turtles (we saw him on Jay Leno) than a vampire. Today he only tried to access the cat's water bowl 12 times before giving up, which is an improvement over 19. Still progress, right?

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Where the heck have I been?

Well, unfortunately I've been sucked into Facebook. I still love reading blogs, but I'm so slow at writing that status updates just seem so more efficient. Boo, I know. Things are going well -- Bo Bella started school which is going well for the most part. She has an awesome teacher and class assistant, but there are just so many kids there and she's having to learn the hard way to fend for herself. I know the world isn't all sunshine and roses, but sheesh, she's only 3.

As for the other news...I've broken out into labor dances again, with even more feeling than the first time because now I know what happens when people are induced. We're in week 40, and Junior still doesn't seem that interested in coming out -- eek! Otherwise things are going really well, except for the normal end-of-pregnancy stuff. I look forward to seeing my ankles again someday, as well as sneezing without fear.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

We're baaaaack

Although we had a blast in good ol' Virginny, both of us were thrilled to be back home in France. Weird, huh. I looked back through some of my older blog posts and a lot of them involved complaining. Okay, fine. Pretty much all of them involved complaining. Nowadays, though, I don't have that much to complain about. Things are going fine -- hubs is good, the cat doesn't seem depressed, Ella is hilarious, and I am finally getting used to my short hair. Ella starts school in September, and I am both dreading it and getting excited for her. She desperately wants to go, but I can't help but worry that this will be the start of the decline of her English. After 6 weeks in the US, English is her language of choice and the one she expresses her most complicated ideas in. French is coming back, though, and she's going to spend one week with the in-laws which is pretty much the best version of French camp you could ask for. When hubs told my MIL that Ella was speaking mainly English, MIL said (in French, obviously) "Well, that will give me a chance to practice my English, then!" I thought that was an awesome response on her part.

While we were away, hubs painted the bedrooms and they look great. We managed to hide most of the lumpiness and I love the look of the clean walls. The downstairs still looks like crap, but that gives us something to do and goals are important, as I always say. Today was our 6-year wedding anniversary and we're planning on celebrating by buying a new dishwasher in the near future. I couldn't be more excited. If things go well we're also planning another trip to Belgium, just the two of us. Hubs has been so great over all the years and I'm looking forward to some "us" time, which has been sorely needed. Since I've gotten back I'm really determined to embrace France as much as I can, and one of the big benefits is being able to drive to another country in under 4 hours. We're going to do it!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Heavens to Betsy

Has it really been, oh, say 6 whole months since I posted? I blame it on Facebook and just being busy in general. Right now I'm back in the good ol' US of A and am loving the greenery and blue skies, although I'm a bit guilty of staying indoors too much at the moment because of the wicked heat here on the East Coast. I also have to say that I also love the fact that Bo Bella has been relatively up close and personal with assorted country critters (including a black snake climbing a tree -- you don't see that every day here, not to mention in the suburbs of Paris). We've also heard some good bluegrass and even a jug band.

I do miss the food in France along with dark bedrooms. It's hard for me to understand why the French don't do screens and Americans don't do the dark shutters. Some kind of combo of the two would be perfect for me! I am absolutely in love with my local library here, what with the story hour and summer reading program and books that are shelved where they are supposed to be and on-line catalogue that works. With no yearly fee! And random people who just walk up to recommend good books! It seems too good to be true. Today they had a children's music concert and it was awesome.

Bo Bella has also been introduced to Nickelodeon and M & Ms (I'm not naming names, but it wasn't me), and has her own private swing set to play on and creek to splash around in. She is being spoiled rotten by her Granny and is loving life here. My trump card is that there is no VCR on which to watch my old Cinderella VHS tape, so between that, her dad and the cat I might be able to convince her to willingly come back to France. Not that our life there is not good by any means, but she does seem to be having a great time here as evidenced by the fact that she recently said, "Momma, I don't ever want to leave Virginia." Honeychild, I know what you mean! But she is 3 and we both are missing her papa and she is missing her French family, and she is just waiting for school to start in September. Yikes! I have mixed feelings about that, but I know she will do well.

So that's it in a nutshell -- we're on vacation and I've got some time for blogging. Hope all of you are doing well!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Time's A Comin'

And while I'm not going home, I'm still pretty excited about it all. I think I mentioned I've all of a sudden been motivated to do some solo sewing, because in the past I came up with an idea and then relied heavily on my mother for supervision and for part of the actual work. If not all of it. Whereas having a mom who sewed was not the most desirable thing for a 13-year-old ("I'm not going to buy that when I can make it"), 20+ years after that it becomes pretty awesome. I'm all for "I'm not going to buy that when I [or my mom] can make it" now! For Halloween, I had the itch to make Ella an owl costume and then it just kind of snowballed from there. I'm still sticking to easy projects like felt finger puppets and softies, plus I've been commissioned by Santa for the big project of making her a fabric baby carrier for Christmas. I've been learning from my (many, many) mistakes and there've still been some conference calls home, but it's been mostly solo work on my part.

I've been getting to know my sewing machine and am proud to be able to say that I'm no longer sewing on the slowest turtle speed and am not so afraid of sewing my own finger (although we all know I shouldn't get overly confident about that). I've also been getting to know the ladies at the local sewing shop and that always feels nice here. Oh, and I do have to mention that my mom did send me some video tutorials on how to make a bag with a boxy bottom as well as the proper use of a bodkin, so I still am somewhat dependent. But it's still progress from the days when it took me an hour just to thread the machine and fill a bobbin. And it tickles me to no end that Granny is sending me video tutorials. I love them!

In other news, we have a bathtub! Hoorah! I could not be more excited about this, because although I'm aware in this instance I have lost perspective about what constitutes a true tragedy in the world, I just could not develop enough flexibility to adapt to life with that crappy, tiny shower. I know, I know, first it was the gravel in the backyard and then it was the bathtub and you really should feel sorry for my husband -- but now I really will try my best to be content with the house as is. Except for the lack of paint on the walls, but to be fair, that also bugs the hubster so I don't feel too badly about that.

I also have vowed to be more vigilant about my hairy legs now that the bathroom is a more welcoming place. You know it's bad when your daughter says, "Oh, Momma, your legs are so fuzzy," albeit in an affectionate way like she says it to the cat. So yes, you really should feel sorry for my husband, because contrary to what seems to be a popular misconception back home, French women are not at all covered in body hair and from what I can tell it seems to be the other extreme (skirts are popular, even when it's freezing out).

The coolest thing is that the cheap IKEA baby bathtub has now been repurposed into a sled! We did get some snow and Stinkerbella was convinced she was going to go outside and make a giant snowman. Which we sort of did, except it's less like Frosty and more like one of the magi or perhaps Gandalf from Lord of the Rings. And it wasn't so much a matter of her making a snowman as it was me making the snowwizard while she stood around and asked questions. While I am absolutely thrilled that she is chatting up a storm in English I do sometimes wonder if she will end up with poor muscle tone so eventually we gave up on the snowfellow and I convinced her to follow any kind of animal track that we found in the snow. "Oooh, catprints -- let's see where it went!" Any other ideas are welcome but for now I'll just see if she can learn to walk and talk at the same time.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

So Many Reasons to Love My Husband...

Here are but two:

1) He dug up and carried all the cursed gravel out of the back yard (through the house, bucketful by bucketful). Then he put in a patio. It's not worth a photo yet since the flowerbeds and veggie patch look terrible and I'm too ashamed of that, but we are all pretty impressed with him. And I'm so happy that the gravel is out of there, although technically it's not actually gone since it's piled up in the front yard like our own miniature Buffalo Mountain. I'm sure the neighbors love us (but won't they be jealous when they see that patio).

2) Today he built me a sewing desk since I didn't have anywhere to put my machine. It's very basic -- we bought the legs at IKEA and then he cut a board to the size I wanted, but it's dead cheap and I couldn't find anything that fit the dimensions I wanted, and I wouldn't have been able to make one as nice as he did, that's for sure.

Love you, sweet cheeks.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Photo(s) du jour