Friday, August 31, 2007

Ah the joys

So now that the dream life in France has ended, it is back to real life with all of its adventures, including those dreaded two words- Potty Training. I decided since it is still REALLY hot here and James is running around naked most of the day, that I might as well try to teach him to pee before I get out the warm winter clothes. I am tired also of him removing his stinky diapers and saying EEEEEWWWW mommy, very dramatically and throwing them across the room.
The first couple of days I felt like I was going mad, chasing him around the house with the potty chair, begging him to please please pee. When he finally did it after three days of cleaning up little puddles, I danced around the living room for awhile, and stuffed his hands as full as possible with marshmallows, emphasizing about fifty times that the reason he was getting treats was because he had peed. This is the first time I am thankful that he has such a greedy sweet tooth. Once that realization sank in, his progress has been pretty quick. He of course has a long way to go- no way is he going to bed or into public without a diaper yet, but the diaper bill is already going down a bit. that can't be bad.

I tried to distract him into peeing by putting him in front of a movie, but he gets so engrossed in the television that he has no idea what else is going on in the room, so we resorted to reading lots of books. He also needs to wear his fireman helmet that he got at the firestation the other day. Don't know why, but it is cute.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

France- week three

This should be my last installation of photographs of our trip. We left Steve's folks house and drove about seven hours south to a little town called St. Hippolyte du Fort (don't ask me how to pronounce that, you don't want to know). The closest big city is Nimes, where Steve was born. His dad was pastor in St. Hippo for years, and Steve spent the first few years of his life in the house where Fred and Monique now live. As you will see, it is also a very lovely place- lots of old villages and vineyards and much more mountainous. We also took a day trip to Aix-en-Provence where Steve and I met. We were supposed to stay with a friend for a few days, but the plans fell through, so we were obliged to see what we could in the evening and then drive back that night. We were dissappointed, but seeing Aix again was wonderful.
The rest of our stay was uneventful except for a trip to the hospital for exrays with James, who had inhaled some peanuts while visiting the doctor. We went to the doctor to ascertain what the rash was that was all over him (turned out to be mosquito bites), where he found a bag of airplane peanuts in my bag and ate them. The doctor didnt know it, and tried to look down his throat which caused James to freak out and inhale the peanut remnants in his mouth. he then choked and coughed for a very long time and the doctor was so worried that he had gotten some in his lungs that he made us go to the hospital to get ex rays. Turned out to be nothing, but it was quite the stressful adventure.
All of Steve's siblings and their children were there in the house for the last few days which was crowded but fun. Fred did most of the cooking which was great although a few times we didnt end up eating until about midnight because he grilled over an open fire every night and it sometimes took a while to get a nice bed of coals. We have great memories of sitting around the table for hours talking and laughing and eating great food. i felt for the first time like I was really part of the family and that the language barrier was not so great as it used to be. At least, it no longer takes every ounce of concentration that i have to follow the conversation.
We drove back up to Steve's folks for the last couple of days. Celine and JB joined us the last night, and we went out to eat in a wonderful restaurant. The trip home was long, but thankfully uneventful. It was kind of hard to readjust to life in the States, but the trip was worth it.

France Week Three

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Week two in France was much more relaxed. We drove down from the wedding to the central western area of France near Poitiers to stay with Steve's folks, help around the house, do a little sight seeing with Sam and Claire, and visit mum in the hospital. The weather was great, the kids got to know each other better, and we really got to enjoy this lovely, untouristy, quiet area of France. Steve's mom came home for the last couple of days that we were there, so it was great to spend some time with her and let her see the kids. Steve got his passion for dairy products from his father, so they bought a lot of cheese and other similar items. We all got a bit of a stomach bug, but Steve refuses to admit that it was because of the cheese. It was good anyway, as was the rest of that lovely week.

France Week Two

Friday, August 17, 2007

Home Again

We arrived home, exhausted but happy on Tuesday night. Now that jetlag is beginning to wear off a bit, I have decided to start posting some pictures of our wonderful trip. We took about, well, a lot of pictures, and even with editing, I will have to put them on here in three stages. the first week was spent in Le Havre- way up north on the French side of the English channel. I have put captions under the photos, but to try and describe the trip in full would take more time than I have. A picture is worth a thousand words right? Well, enjoy week one, and I will try to get week two and three uploaded sometime soon.

France Week One