Saturday, December 25, 2010

Joyeux Noël !

Merry Christmas everyone! We're having a lovely time in these parts. We could even call it a White Christmas, but only by the skin of our teeth, as we just had a light powdering last night.

Yesterday I had to work in the afternoon, so we all headed out early and I dropped Stéphane and Fry off at Mémère's house on the way to work. Work was uneventful and I picked up our contribution to the big Christmas feast - a huge basket of a variety of French cheese ordered a week before - before ever so slowly driving back to Mémère's house.

Fry didn't quite make it to dinner time so he had a light dinner just before the last family arrived and made it through the apéritif before he finally gave up the ghost and went to sleep. Hopefully next year he'll be able to make it longer to see what all the fuss is about!

If you're curious about the menu, we started with a soupe de champagne, then on to an amazing seafood salad, then lamb and a gratin dauphinois. We took a break to exchange gifts (and digest!) before we finished up with ice cream, a Black Forest cake and another cake baked by my niece.

Funniest moment of the night: my SIL wanted to surprise me by buying something from my Amazon list (that I didn't tell her existed, she just searched for our names) and because she doesn't speak English very well, ended up buying a book I wanted to buy for Stéphane! I don't know if I would have ended up buying it anyway, so it was kind of a gift for me too! (I was really touched that she thought of that, though!)

We had to really take our time coming home on icy roads but we managed to get home in less than an hour. This morning we all slept in until nine o'clock, I made what will now be traditional baked oatmeal for breakfast, and Fry finally got to open some presents and, for the first time, he understood the concept. Very exciting and entertaining to watch!

I have finally received a crock pot - I've been wanting one for years but Stéphane complained that we didn't have anywhere to put it, but since we have the new kitchen, ha ha! - so it's making dinner as we speak (I went traditional for the first meal, so it's pot roast and veggies for everyone!). And we're still digesting from last night. Our cups certainly do overfloweth.

Wishing you all a very happy holiday!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It ain't Christmas without a trip to the ER

Oh yes we did, my friends. Let me start off by saying that it was not an accident-inflicted panicky emergency room visit, thank goodness. If you're a parent you might get a kick out of this, and if you're not... well, let's call it a cautionary tale. I'm including some nitty gritty details but I'll warn you if you want to skip the icky stuff.

Our dear son Fry has had problems with his nose for quite a while now. He fights us when we want to wipe his nose, never mind trying to blow his nose, and even trying to wipe his face after a meal is a challenge. Recently he's been suffering from rosy liquid coming from one particular nostril, but even our doctor assured us that it was probably just the inside of his nose being raw from having a stuffy nose for so long.

So cut to last night, when Stéphane was trying to wipe Fry's nose (i.e. had him pinned down on the couch armed with a tissue while Fry screamed bloody murder) and noticed something. A white something. In Fry's nose.

Admittedly, what happened next is absolute folly, but a million light bulbs suddenly came on as we realized that our son has been suffering for quite some time and whatever is stuffed up into his head needed to come out now. So we tried to pin him down while Stéphane tried to get anywhere near his nose with a set of tweezers.

Once we realized we were getting nowhere, we took a break for dinner and then took the next logical step: went to the emergency room. Of course, we don't have a hospital anywhere near us, so off we went to the main Troyes hospital.

We arrived at 7:30 and, for the next three and a half hours, tried to keep Fry entertained. Of course he was nearly asleep when we were called back at last to see the doctor and poor Fry quickly understood why we were there. It took three of us to hold him down while the doctor went at it with a larger pair of tweezers, and though he was able to get out a small morsel, he said we needed to go up to the doctor on call in charge of the vacuum and suck whatever was up there out. Oh, apparently the doctor believed it was a piece of candy.

When he said that, Stéphane and I looked at each other in total puzzlement. Now, here is a good moment to explain why the hell we were completely lost when it comes to Fry and the bonbon up the nose. First of all, from the time Fry was a teeny baby, he didn't like us messing about with his nose. I even tried one of those sucker things for sucking out mucus, recommended from a friend who's son loved it as a baby, but no dice. Secondly, we have never seen Fry put anything in his nose, ever. Hardly ever his own fingers, even. Thirdly, we don't even have candy in the house! We're just not bonbon people. Chocolates? Yep. Salty snacks? You've got our number. That, my friends, is how we managed to miss every single red flag that got us to this point.

Anyhoo, we went up to the third floor to wait for the doctor on call. Warning: here's the gory stuff, if you're sensitive to that, think about kittens and rainbows and skip to the next paragraph! Now it was just Stéphane and I to hold down Fry, and let me tell you, that kid is freakishly strong! We managed to do it, even with the doctor's rudeness (seriously dude, I know it's midnight and you're on call, but he's two, give me a freaking break here). Before long, the doctor sucked out not one but two somethings about half an inch long each. Of course Fry was screaming bloodly murder the whole time (and can you blame him?) but Stéphane and I remarked today that there was a moment where, when one of the pieces were pulled out, Fry seemed to pause his screaming to kind of go, "Oh." Of course he bled like a stuck pig afterwards, but he was quickly patched up and we were released, a mere five hours after we arrived.

(The non-gory version: yucky things were removed, all is well.)

There was a moment during our wait that we questioned coming to the hospital for this, but we reasoned that our doctor wouldn't have the equipment necessary so we'd have to come anyway, plus the fact that it was so late definitely played in our favor (Fry was quite strong a midnight, imagine if it had been during his prime time!), plus we could take advantage of the fact that Stéphane is on vacation right now so we could all sleep in today. In any case, we don't regret it, and Fry seems to be just fine today, even if he's a little jumpy, as if we may whisk him away at any moment to perform brain surgery. Poor kid.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The week from hell

Yes, I know, more than a week this time. I have a good excuse, though!

So actually last week passed without incident, if by "without incident" we mean "couldn't leave the house because of the terrible weather for three days so Fry and I drove each other insane." By Friday he was ready to see the back of me as well and nearly pushed me out the door when I dropped him off at Nounou's house. Saturday we were invited to Stéphane's Algerian uncle's house for couscous, which was very delicious, but am disappointed that Fry didn't seem to care much for it (this from the kid that eats nearly anything). We even went to the massive home improvement store and picked out paint and tiles for the kitchen, which we want to tackle over the Christmas break.

However, this week is not going so awesome. The car's been giving some trouble, in the area of the clutch, so I called the garage Monday and he said I could bring it in right away. He wanted to do a quick drive to see what's wrong and he didn't even get out of the parking lot - dead clutch and we're damned lucky it didn't drop out on the road to Troyes or back. The rest of Monday was spent pushing Fry around in a stroller running errands that couldn't wait in below freezing weather.

Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment that I'd already rescheduled once and didn't want to put off until the New Year, so Fry and I took the bus to Troyes, which meant we basically spent the entire day at my MIL's home, as the only bus that comes back is at 5:30. Mémère had the pleasure of witnessing Fry's new superpower: Extreme Anger Freakout. It's very impressive in person. Then we got back and went straight to the garage, which is helpfully across the street from the bus stop. Goodbye 600€.

Did I mention that I've been sick since Friday? And that it culminated with my throat hurting so bad last night that every time I took a breath it felt like needles stabbing me?

So. Today I get a little break. I slept until 9 (bliss!), Stéphane has taken Fry with him to the school so I can have a little precious time to myself, and then this afternoon I'll take him with me to the grocery. Which will be fun because we've supposedly got a huge snowstorm coming our way. Good times. Hopefully I get enough rest today because I've picked up a day's work tomorrow and am scheduled for Friday and Saturday, when I'm supposed to give a presentation. HA HA!!

So... how's your week?

Monday, December 06, 2010

a break from the snow

This blogging one time a week is for the birds. I don't know why I'm not doing it more often, it's not like I don't have things to say. I think about updating, and then next thing I know a week's gone by.

So we enjoyed the snow that stuck last Monday for exactly a week, as this morning it was all gone when we woke up. It was mostly clear and sunny and cold all week, with just enough snow falling to make me nervous going to work on Friday, but even that had calmed down and melted off the roads before it was time to go home.

Saturday should have been a fun family adventure day, but as is often the case, when we venture out of doors nothing seems to go right. I signed Fry up for a little sing along story time at the huge public library in Troyes Saturday morning. It was only 25 minutes and for small babies/children aged 0-3. Fry was one of the oldest ones there and was his typical rambunctious self. Oh god, I've turned into THAT mom. The one that can't control her child so the others can enjoy the show. As soon as the ladies picked up a guitar, Fry was mesmerized, but when they went back to story telling, it turned into The Fry Show and he chattered along with them. I'm hoping it wasn't as bad as I'm making it out to be, and even one of the ladies told me that they're used to it with this age range, but I wanted to crawl under a pile of books and die. On the other hand, the early readers' section of the library is really lovely, with loads of cushions and baby books, so maybe we'll go back some time when we have nothing else going on.

Meanwhile, Stéphane, who had been shopping for a book while I was trying to coral Fry, met us at the library and then we walked around freezing cold Troyes for a bit, stopping at my work to say hello, and then we had a bit of lunch.

we went out for lunch

It's an Irish Pub, so logically I had flammekeuche and Stéphane had an omelette. Only problem was that he started getting a migraine before we got to the restaurant so he wasn't fully able to enjoy his meal.

Our last stop was at MIL's and by that time the migraine was so bad he went straight to bed while Fry took his afternoon nap. They both slept all afternoon and we basically got home in time for dinner.

As you can imagine, this was not the fun filled family outing I had imagined, but what are you gonna do? We'll try again sometime soon, is all. I've still got my sights set on the big Christmas market in Reims, that we will likely visit in the next couple of weeks.

In other news, my Christmas shopping is officially completed! Not a new record, but not pushing it until the last minute, either (hello last year literally buying gift cards on the way to the family Christmas dinner!). Of course I still have to wrap them, but that's a whole other story...