Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Our Halloween festivities are pretty meager (you can read our reasons for that in a past entry), but we did carve a jack-o-lantern:

Resident artist Benjamin drew its face.
"Not-afraid-to-get-messy" Noah pulled its guts out.
And of course Frédéric got to do the cutting.
The boys and I made some Halloween sugar cookies for the occasion, using some Halloween-themed sprinkles our friends Eve, Zachary and Sarah brought us last month.

Noah's theories on cookie decorating are "more is better" and "you can't have too much of a good thing":

And after cookie decoration and a mishap with a plate of sprinkles, this is what my floor looked like when we were done. Thank goodness for tile.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The boys are all ready to go to Grandma & Grandad's house

What? I can't send them that way? Well, fine. Only three weeks til our trip, though... not that I'm counting or anything.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The great thing about being bi-cultural

is that you can pick whether you want to make crèpes or pancakes with Daddy.

In this case, it was pancakes.

And as they say, most of the greatest chefs are men. We are proudly continuing that axiom in our family.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Not a baby anymore

I cut Noah's hair the other day, and am mourning his lost curls. They were out of control and he got another "little girl" comment recently, so I thought I'd neaten it up a bit... but it's not really neatenable without cutting off the curls. I should have left him his messy mop.

He's still pretty darn cute. But oh, the curls.

The little baby isn't so little any more... playing with his older brother's Legos...
with Benjamin cautioning him, "Don't eat them, Noah!"

And we finally got him a real bed, after having taken down his crib a few months back. That means we were able to turn the radiators back on upstairs since he won't be pushing his mattress up against his radiator anymore, at least so we hope. And it's not a minute too soon (probably a few minutes too late, actually, it is cold!).

Benjamin kindly offered to help him test it out and make sure it was ok.

Bedtime story first in Benjamin's bed, with Daddy.

Bed time!

And how he ended up.... no more blankets, but at least he is still in the bed!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

To continue the naptime series...

This is what I found yesterday when I went to get him up.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

L'artiste en herbe

That is how we say "budding artist" in French. I'm sure you'll agree that that is exactly what we have on our hands here when you see this example of the artist's early work.
This monochromatic, signed piece is called "Four Dinosaurs," and features a baby dinosaur at left, standing next to a Mommy dinosaur, a Daddy dinosaur, and a "little big dinosaur."
Notice the bold pen strokes on this work, and its vibrant colors.
I think I have seen similar work somewhere... where was that... oh yes, look at the striking similarities in style.
And here is the proud creator himself!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Naptime, or,what Noah does in his room when not being supervised

Yesterday, I put Noah down for his nap as usual. He ran back and forth in his room for a good hour and a half before finally capitulating to sleep. Frédéric went to get him up after his nap... came downstairs... and asked me, "Are these the pants you dressed him in this morning?" The pants in question had tags hanging off of them.

No... no, they aren't.

Noah decided, during naptime, that the pants he was wearing were "too little" and took it upon himself to raid his wardrobe to find another pair. Isn't he resourceful and independent? (See how I framed that in a positive light? I'm working on it.)

* * * * *

Today, I put Noah down for his nap as usual. (See a theme here?) He seemingly went straight to sleep. I went to get him up after his nap... and found this.

Those are his socks on his hands. I asked him if he was cold -- he had refused all blankets at naptime, and it is pretty chilly upstairs -- but he said no. Maybe he was playing sock puppets?

* * * * *

Speaking of it being cold upstairs, I'd just like to point out that though we've had a fire in the wood-burning stove off and on for weeks, it is thanks to Noah that we can't heat the upstairs just yet. We had the foresight to cut off the electricity to all the upstairs radiators so he couldn't find a way to harm himself with his. It's a good thing we did, since he pushes his mattress up next to it to sleep, and at one point he pulled it completely off the wall.

Frédéric is going to pick up a bed frame for Noah this weekend, so we will just need to get him a mattress, and we are hoping he will sleep in his new bed, and not push it up next to the radiator, so we can start heating upstairs again. In the meantime, we are piling on the covers. Noah typically sleeps with no fewer than 5 quilts on his bed.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Duel

Many days, like today as I sit here typing this, wishing the boys knew how to play nicely together, and hoping for Calgon to come take me away, I feel like the owner of the gingham dog and the calico cat. But in the interest of fairness, I will admit that every now and then (though not today), they surprise us.

Someone *please* tell me this will happen more often as they get older. Please.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Or for the more articulate among us, gymnastics. Like every Saturday morning since early September, that is what we spent yesterday morning doing. Noah pulled his scaredy-cat routine again, but did try a couple of new things, and Benjamin worked on doing his moves properly instead of just trying to be the fastest.

Noah during warm-ups.
Brave Benjamin walking on the balance beam by himself.

Benjamin snake-crawling.

Winding down on the parachute at the end of class.

After gymnastics, we had lunch with Frédéric's cousin Christian and his family, with a couple of Frédéric's coworkers and their families. The weather has been beautiful and warm (low 70s) the past couple of days, so we got to enjoy the afternoon outside.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

September visits

We were happy to see some friends in September. I met Eve, my first French friend, 14 years ago when I came to France that first summer. She is now married to an American and living in Oregon, so I live closer to her parents than she does, and she lives closer to mine than I do. I am pretty sure neither of us would have predicted this 14 years ago!

Eve and her kids came to spend a month with her parents, and they came out to visit us one day for lunch.

Frédéric's childhood friend Eric & his family came over for lunch last Saturday, and spent the night. We were happy it ended up not raining so we could go for a walk in the village after lunch.

Checking out where our water comes from; a spring in the village.

And the boys (the little ones and the bigger ones) played some American football for a while.

The trees are starting to change color, and fall means one thing to us: only a month and a half until our Thanksgiving trip home. We are starting to get into vacation mindset!