Monday, September 22, 2008

One of us is ready for our trip home

It's still almost 2 months away, but Benjamin woke up this morning saying, "Take airplane, go see Grandma!" And he can recite all the aunts & uncles & cousins he'll see in November. He has a little photo album with pictures of everyone that we look at sometimes so he knows who everyone is.

We got out the walker for Noah the other day. (Don't mind the still under construction background. It's only been a year since we started. I'm sure we'll be done any year now.)

Noah mostly moves backwards in it. But Benjamin has the hang of it.

Friday, September 19, 2008


We will be spending the winter in Montpellier! I haven't posted about it on the blog yet because I was a little afraid to jinx it, so here's the scoop:

Frederic has been a flight coordinator for a couple of years. Lately he's gotten the two-year itch he typically gets with his jobs, and was looking for something different. He's been wanting a managerial position, but one of his bosses nicely sabotaged that for him this time around because he wasn't "available enough" for work when I was 9 months pregnant with Noah. He'd looked into a position in the mechanic's garages at Air France, but we decided there wouldn't be much room for moving up or changing positions there, and it's a service that could be fairly easily transformed into a subsidiary if Air France decides to cut costs, so that is something we want to avoid if possible.

So he came home one day asking if I'd like to move to Montpellier. Air France was hiring flight dispatchers, so he'd been looking into the criteria. He talked to human resources, and found out he had no chance of being hired for the post without going through a specialized training first. Having this training is not a guarantee he would get the job later on, but not having it is almost a guarantee that he wouldn't.

This specialized training is at an aviation school in Montpellier. He started the application process, and about 10 days ago flew down for a presentation of the school and tests. We were surprised to learn that he'd find out the very next week whether he was accepted or not, since there are still two selection sessions to come in October and November. Apparently it's best to attend the earliest one, like he did, since there are about 100 applicants for 24-48 spots. We started watching the mailbox... and today the letter finally came, he is in!

Next on the list: find a place to live. We have a few leads, and will probably rent an off-season vacation rental since we'll need something furnished. We'll be in Montpellier from January through March, and then Frederic will have a three-week internship with a company in April. We don't know yet whether the boys and I can accompany him to wherever that will be or not.

For those who don't know or may not remember - I lived in Montpellier for a year when I did my Junior Year Abroad, and that is where I lived when Frederic and I started dating 10 years ago. I am very much looking forward to going back for a few months!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Not a big fan

of peaches, either.

Benjamin says, no, look, they're good!
And this is Benjamin then (my goodness, they do look alike, don't they?).
And now. He thinks he still fits.
Even though his feet touch the floor.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Summer is over

Yes, it's September 13th, and at 8:30 this morning, when the sun had been up for over an hour, there was still frost on the hedge. And a lovely husband who shall remain nameless left two skylights open upstairs, so it was freezing inside as well as out this morning.

Noah turned six months old this week, and got to start eating baby cereal. Luckily for him, baby cereal in France is much tastier than baby cereal in the US. (At least it smells better, I can't say I've tasted it myself.)

He hasn't been begging for our food the way Benjamin did at his age, though, so he was much less impressed with the cereal than Benjamin was at the same age.

On day two, things went a little better. I think we'll try peaches next.

His physical therapy sessions will soon come to an end, and his head shape is much nicer now, thanks to the physical therapist. The doctor wants to see him again soon for a weight check, so we are going to try to get him in this coming week.

Benjamin got to play with his Color Wonders fingerpaints today, a gift from Uncle Ryan, Aunt Christine & Alex at Christmas last year.

He had a good time, until Daddy took them away because Benjamin was trying to eat the paint instead of put it on the paper. Fun gift, though, and especially fun for us with no mess to clean up!

In exciting house news (that's sarcasm), our water heater has not been working very well lately. We've noticed over the past few weeks that the water has been less hot than it used to be, and lately it's been getting closer to cold. So we found a plumber to come out today and take a look at it. He said to check first and be sure that the electric company is sending the cheap rates signal to our box (Frederic gets up at 4:45 am and cheap rates end around 6:30 am, so checking that will be his job), and if so, he thinks the heating element is probably covered in calcium deposits and that is preventing it from heating efficiently.

Unfortunately, the previous owners put in a cheap water heater in which you cannot just change the element. So if we have to change the water heater, we'll have to pay more for a better one - but at the same time, we could have it put in the garage and claim that corner back for our kitchen when we redo the kitchen in a few years. More space in the kitchen is a very exciting thought. And we could have hot water in the laundry room, too, which we don't have now. Of course, it does mean more walls to move around... and we're not done with Phase One of all that yet!

The tomato plants are trying to finish up the season, so today I used a lot of them to make tomato sauce to freeze, and tomorrow will use about 2 kilos worth to make some tomato soup to freeze. The rest will probably be frozen as-is, to be used until we have new tomatoes next year.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Grape Jelly

Frederic's mom and sister came to visit this week. They hadn't met Noah yet and it had been a while since they had seen Benjamin. Frederic took them to visit the nearby village of La Ferté-Milon, and while there, they found a grapevine growing on an abandoned wall.

So they picked some grapes.
They also saw a goat.
And a horse.
And Benjamin really enjoyed the day.
They didn't just pick a few grapes, they picked a lot.
And my mother-in-law made us grape jelly.
We saved some grapes for eating.
I guess this is what sour grapes looks like.
And Noah is a happy boy who loves to roll over onto his tummy.

And squeal with laughter.