Monday, June 29, 2009

(trying to) beat the heat


That's a fruit salad I made yesterday with a quarter watermelon, a whole pineapple (first time I ever hacked one up, it's actually very easy!) and a melon. Thanks to Katia and the Muffin Man for the inspiration!

The temperatures are really starting to climb now. We managed to get out of the house for a few hours, meeting my MIL, SIL and niece at a vide grenier about half an hour away. We had a nice (and cheap!) lunch there and looked at lots of trash to treasure, including a t-shirt that had an English slang word for female genitalia blazed across it and dollar bills with Michael Jackson on them (apparently the guy sold foreign coins and bills and this came from a set that MJ's fan club put out). But even outside, poor Fry was melting in his stroller and we didn't stay long.

this is how we roll
Merguez, fries & coke in a bottle

Yesterday afternoon, I went to fetch Fry from his nap and it was a whopping 34°C (93°F) in his room! Thankfully we have the little air cooling machine that we got last year which helped bring the temperature back down to a reasonable level, but I'm afraid this is just the beginning. At least we'll be spending three weeks of August in the Land of Air Conditioning!

So let me throw this out to you, my dear readers: I am having a devil of a time coming up with things to make for meals that involve little or no cooking. We've done cocktail shrimp (mmmmm) and veggies, cold cuts, sandwiches, salads... and now I'm starting to run out of ideas. Please tell me, what do you "cook" when it's too hot to cook? Leave me your ideas in the comments and I'll share my favorites in the next post!

Friday, June 26, 2009

one more week

Ugh. One more week of stressed out husband. If you're married to a teacher, you know. The run up to the end of the year is so stressful! I can't speak to upper ed. but the last two weeks of primary school here is field trips, la fête de l'école, meetings preparing for next year... This weekend Stéph will be wrapping up his administrative duties on his students so that after next Thursday, the last day of school, he will be well and truly done. And then it takes him a week just to decompress. He's really pleasant to be around this time of year, let me tell you. I want to say that in the (nearly) five years we've been married, 99% of our squabbles have been around this time of year. I think this year I'm just going to give him a wide berth!

In other news, I just found out when dropping off Fry at the halte garderie that they're going to be open for another three weeks! That was a nice surprise; since they follow the school year I expected today to be the last day until September. I was worried that a huge break would mean that we'd have to start all over again getting him used to going, but extending it a little bit may help with that, we'll see.

Sorry if this doesn't make any sense - it's so humid in here that my glasses keep fogging up!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

paris makes me sick

I'm not kidding, every time I go to Paris, even overnight, I come back with some kind of sinus flareup or sore throat. After walking up the "bloody hill" to Katia's house, I had the wheeze of a two pack a day smoker and by the time I got home I had a lovely knot in my throat.

But hey, we get over being sick, right? It's been ages since I've been on the Katia and Kylie Mac show, and you can hear me make a fool of myself on episode 249 (and episode 250, which should be out later this week!).

Sunday, Kylie Mac and I went to the Château de Vincennes, a castle that dates back to the 12th century and is just on the border of Paris. We'd been planning this visit for a couple of weeks, and neither one of us had been there before, so we were pretty excited.

Except that the damned château was closed until the exact hour that I was meant to get on a train back home.

In our defense, there was no prior warning at all. Sunday just happened to be La Fête de la Musique, and since there was a concert in the château, it was decided to close it to the public until the concert started in the afternoon. We were not the only ones caught out; there were several folks with great big cameras that were turned away as well.

The good news is that we got some great pictures just by walking around the château. It's so crazy to me that it's surrounded by regular streets and apartment buildings, as if it were just placed in the middle of the neighborhood like a park or a skyscraper. "...and here's where we'll place our 12th century château..." hmph.

chateau de vincennes

I'll never get used to this. And to think, this will be normal for Fry! You can click on the photo to be whisked away to my flickr feed to see the rest of the pictures.

Friday, June 19, 2009

vivi tries them so you don't have to

This week has been all about new things; a couple of new summer shirts for me and Stéph, a pair of shoes for me:

new shoes

and a new haircut tomorrow morning. Then there's the newness of Fry's standing up (and almost sitting back down without freaking out), periods of independent play and how he charms every person he meets.

So with all this newness, I thought I'd try a couple of these new (to me!) sodas that keep catching me eye. I'm not a big soda drinker (any more) but for some reason Orangina's wacky flavors keep calling out to me. If you've not heard of Orangina, it's a lovely orange soda with real bits of orange pulp and quite tasty.

But orange isn't what you'd think of when you see this:

Orangina cowboy

Yes, it's called Cowboy. Yee haw. Yep, it's orange mint. Actually, it's Orangina with mint syrup. Lots of mint syrup. Pass. (So much of a pass I told Stéphane he has to finish it!)

I didn't start off very well, but I couldn't stop myself!

Orangina Indien

Can't have Cowboys without Indians, can ya? This one is orange grenadine, and I'm happy to report we have a winner! It's not nearly as sickeningly sweet as the mint one, and is actually quite refreshing, like the original Orangina.

There's one other flavor out there called Orangina Rouge, which I presume is blood oranges? If I'm not soda-ed out by next week I may pick up a bottle and try it.

This weekend I'm leaving the testosteronies at home and going off on some adventures! If you keep your eyes peeled, you may be able to find me elsewhere on the internets... and that's all I'll say for now! You kids have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dear French person driving in the parking lot,

Look, I know you're a busy guy. Just because we live in a Tiny Town doesn't mean we're not movers and shakers with people to see and places to go. But dude (for you are usually a guy), it is not necessary to fly through the parking lot at 70/kph. I promise you, your stinky cheese will be there when you get in the store.

Also, stop honking at me for having the audacity to reverse slowly out of my parking space right when you're trying to go by. I can't help it because I can't see you. If seeing a car slowly backing up doesn't slow you down, it's a wonder we haven't seen more kids getting creamed in the parking lot.

I wish I could say I only see you in Tiny Town, but, alas, you have appeared in every single damned parking lot I've ever had the displeasure of dodging you in while in this country.

Finally, if you hit my car while my kid is in it, I will CUT you.



Monday, June 15, 2009

the unfortunate consequeces of progress

So just when Stéphane and I were congratulating ourselves on our genius offspring, we discovered the downside of Fry learning how to stand up in bed: now that he's learned this new trick, he wants to do it all. the. time. Nap time now means putting him down and waiting for him to cry because he's stood up and can't get back down, not once but usually twice or three times. He just can't help himself. Like a moth to a flame, as soon as I leave the room he's back at it, and he just keeps going until he literally doesn't have the strength to go anymore.

To make things more complicated, Fry has figured out standing up in his baby jail parc after trying and falling over only once. And while I'm so excited for him (the look of joy on his face is palpable) it also means we're seeing lots more frustration, arms and legs stuck between bars, and lots and lots of dings and bonks on the old noggin. Hopefully his head is as hard as his father's.

In a vainglorious effort to force Fry to learn how to get down, we let him cry as long as we can stand it to encourage him to at least try instead of calling for us, but he's a stubborn little bugger and he cried himself purple yesterday. He did the climb and cry routine so much yesterday that he got a total of fifteen minutes of sleep in the afternoon, and that was literally because he'd run out of steam, hand still clinging to a bar of his parc. And just when we thought he'd had enough, he managed to climb and cry twice when we put him down last night.

And again at 6:00 this morning.

Yeah, I got the message. The easy part is over.

Friday, June 12, 2009

on allergies, teething and baby jail

Last week I was sure I'd developed another sinus infection so off I went to see the doctor again (man he must love us now!). No, he said, I was having a really bad allergic reaction. How funny that something I lived with for so long in the States has caught up with me here and I didn't even recognize it! He gave me a month long perscription of a really good allergy medicine - it dissolves on my tongue! it doesn't make me sleepy! (well, sleepier) - and is going to send me to have my allergies tested in September. Woo hoo!!

Meanwhile, we've just ended another fun teething period. Funny, you don't realize how bad it is until it's over. All of a sudden, Fry starts sleeping in until 8 and is way more pleasant to be around.

Finally, Fry is now faster than a speeding bullet! Stéphane's first solution was, "well, we'll just have to keep an eye on him." Yes, you parents can stop guffawing now. After Fry nearly cleared a low shelf of computer CD's, bonked his head on the TV stand, the corner of a brick that holds up the decorative wooden posts in the salon, and nearly turned off Stéphane's computer (ooh shiny!), Stéphane's next solution was to buy the biggest baby jail we could find. This playpen is so big it takes up half our salon, but Fry has plenty of room to move and play. We'd actually bought it the day of my doctor's appointment, so I mentioned it to him, and he said this was the perfect age to buy a playpen as he can also work on pulling himself up to stand. He already reaches up and grabs the bars (baby jail!!) and he can push himself up to stand if he's sitting on my leg so I reckon it won't be long before he puts two and two together.

And that's all! Sorry it's been so quiet around here at Tiny Town Manor, but if all goes well I may be going on an interesting sight seeing trip next weekend so surely some photos of interest will come from that!

Edited to add: Just went to get Fry, who was crying in his bed, probably because he was standing up and didn't know what to do next. So much for two and two!!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

seven months

Crazy, eh?

Lemme see here, what's new... I think I'm going to have to start keeping notes throughout the month now! First, and most surprising, we can't count on the car anymore to send Fry to sleep. Not that we ever put him in the car expressly to put him to sleep (I used to put him in the stroller and take him for a walk to calm him down) but he used to fall asleep almost immediately. He no longer has milk at lunchtime, but a big jar of veggies (and meat, which we just added last week!) and some applesauce instead (there is a great brand here that makes applesauce in lots of different flavors). So far, this is the only fruit he'll really eat - we've tried banana with very little success, melon, cherry, and a couple of others in season with no avail. We discovered yesterday that he loves pickles, though!

Fry now has two teeth and I expect to see a couple more come in over the next month. As you saw on the video, he's crawling, already faster than that! He also gets up on his knees and over the last couple of days he'll go all the way up on his feet in a downward dog yoga position, which he thinks is hilarious. He can hold his bottle, at least for a few minutes, and we've started practicing with a sippy cup at lunch time. His hair is really coming in now, you can barely see his scalp anymore! He's still chunky but now that he's starting to move I wonder how long we'll be able to say that.

Through it all, Fry is still a remarkably smiley boy, even to the point where he'll smile through his tears. And we've had a few of those, as he discovers how to move around on the floor and flips onto his back a little too fast. He is fascinated by shadows, sunlight streaming in the windows, patterns on fabrics, the texture of Papa's beard and anything that's happening outside. I'm having the time of my life rediscovering the world right along side him.