Wednesday, November 28, 2007

no place like home

Benjamin watching airplanes
We managed to get a flight out of Chicago on Monday, and made it home yesterday morning. The flight is a little bit shorter coming towards France, which is nice, and we were able to fly business class AND there was enough room for Benjamin to have his own seat. He actually slept for a few hours (thank you, Benadryl!). Frederic and I did not really sleep, but it was much more relaxing than the flight on the way over since we didn't spend 7+ hours trying to keep Benjamin quiet.

The house was coooollld when we got home - we had left the heaters on "hors gel" which means it keeps the house from freezing but is still pretty darn cold. It's about back to normal temperature now that we have had the fire going for a couple of days.

Frederic doesn't have to go back to work until Dec 7th, so hopefully he will make some progress on the bathroom while he is off. And I plan to work as much as possible, since the dollar is at a terrible low and I didn't work much during our vacation.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

heading home

We weren't supposed to be going home until December 4th, but a combination of things including the fact that Benjamin is STILL sick, 2 weeks after we got here, have made us decide to cancel the last half of our trip and our plans to travel to Austin, TX and Searcy, AR, and head home as soon as we can figure out a good flight to go on. Frederic will be calling a friend at work today to get stats on the flights and see when will be the best time to go.

Benjamin has had a fever and been up screaming for hours many nights, and we didn't think that lack of sleep + driving long hours was a good combination.

We're not looking forward to the flight back, but do have some Benadryl .... we are not sure they will allow us to take it on the plane since it is more than 3 oz, though.

We took a grand total of 15 pictures since we have been here, as witness to how unenjoyable the trip has been - this is an all-time record low for us for the number of photos taken during a trip.

Here are two of Benjamin:
Benjamin playing with cars
Benjamin playing with cars at my parents' house

Sleeping baby
How we finally got Benjamin to sleep at camp... in MY bed

Thursday, November 15, 2007

the worst plane trip ever

We arrived in St Louis Saturday.

We did not get Benjamin his own seat this trip, because for one thing, he is not yet 2 and not required to have his own seat, but also because we were supposed to be flying business class and would have had plenty of room for all 3 of us with 2 seats.

Unfortunately, a lot of people with open-ended business class tickets showed up at the very last minute so we got bumped back to coach, also known as the cattle car. That meant that Benjamin not having his own seat was not a good thing at all, since an adult can barely fit in an airplane seat by him/herself these days, much less with an almost 2-year-old on his/her lap.

Benjamin does not sleep on airplanes. (Can you blame him?) We left the house at 9:45 am and arrived in Chicago at 3:30 pm local time, 10:30 pm French time. He had not slept the entire time. He did, however, scream for almost the entire time. He was the child you don't want to be next to on the plane. We didn't even want to be next to him, so I know no one else did!

Some people suggested Benadryl to us for the flight... we couldn't find the same product in France, but Frederic's sister (a pharmacist) suggested a cough syrup with the same effect. I was a little uncomfortable with the idea of drugging Benjamin for the trip, but as luck (or ill luck) would have it, he woke up coughing Saturday morning. So we dropped in at the pharmacy before we left and picked up the cough syrup.

But you know how the labels say that the medicine may cause drowsiness or excitability? Guess which one Benjamin got. Yup. NOT a great idea for us.

We finally made it to Chicago, though, and my mom picked us up there and drove us back to St Louis. Benjamin finally slept in the car, and now, almost a week later, we are all pretty much back on local time - other than the fact that we go to bed around 8 pm and wake up around 5-6 am.

We are going to Columbia, MO today, and Monday leave for our Thanksgiving trip including Tulsa, Madill, Austin, Searcy and possibly Memphis.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

PS, it's a...

BOY!! We had our second ultrasound on Monday and found out we are expecting a healthy baby boy!

D-2 until takeoff!

We are almost ready to go home! Well, "ready" might be an exaggeration since we have tons of things to do at the house that we're not going to get done before we leave. We did finally buy our plane tickets today and hope to also get around to packing our luggage.

We're looking forward to a vacation and seeing family & friends while we are in the U.S. Frederic is not looking forward to the 2000 miles we'll be driving while we are home!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Guest Bedroom: Before and After

We still lack:
- a light fixture
- new bedding
- curtains.
We will get to those when we get to them. No big rush at this point.

What we did:
- moved some walls and the door
- stripped the wallpaper
- painted the room a color called "linen" (off-white)
- gave the ceiling a fresh coat of white paint
- put laminate flooring down on top of the ugly tile
- got a new bed frame, nightstands, and lamps.

We intended for the spot where the wardrobe is to be a closet, but in the end decided the wardrobe looked nice there, so it is staying until further notice.

guest room - before
guest room - before

guest bedroom after
guest bedroom after
guest bedroom after
Next on the agenda: finishing the bathroom, but that will have to wait until after vacation!