Monday, January 31, 2011

ordinary winter days

With Benjamin in school all day, Noah has taken up the reins as Daddy's apprentice chef. He makes a mean brioche.

Amanda sent the boys Zhu Zhu pets - Noah was scared of his at first and would ask someone to turn it on, while he climbed up on a chair so it couldn't "get him." He kept the plastic the pet came in, and quickly discovered he could "trap" it inside, so he could have all the fun of turning it on without it being able to run after him.

This kind of scene is happening a little more frequently these days... does that mean there is hope that they won't end up like the gingham dog and the calico cat after all?
They played very nicely together this morning (for a while there I was afraid I was in some sort of alternate reality). They were playing "Mommy and Daddy" - for some reason Daddy is the coveted role in this game; I'm not really sure why since Daddy in our house gets to do the grocery shopping, cooking, and child-tending all on top of working a full-time job. Mommy has it pretty good. Ah well, their future wives can thank me.

Our normal gray winter weather has set in now. I don't miss the snow we had earlier this winter, but I do miss the sunshine we had seen more of than usual this time of year. Two more weeks of February to trudge through until Benjamin's winter break, and one week into that we leave for the mountains (where we don't mind the snow so much because it's meant to be there).

Monday, January 24, 2011

We keep him around for the comic relief

Noah and I had a good conversation this morning.

Noah: Mommy, can you help me with the Legos?
Me: No, I'm working.
Noah: The man will help me.
Me: Who is the man?
Noah: Me.
Me: Oh. Are you a big man, or a little man?
Noah: I'm a little man.
Me: When will you be a big man? How old do you have to be to be a big man?
Noah: Five. I will go to my class.

For the entire conversation, he was answering in this goofy voice. So my next question was:

Me: Why are you talking funny?

To which he replied, without missing a beat:

Noah: Because I'm American.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Thinking of getting back into the routine

Things have been busy around here lately - isn't that what I always say? I flew back to Germany this past week to spend a few days with my friend there. Frédéric was on vacation, so he was able to stay home with the boys and take care of getting Benjamin to school.

Frédéric accomplished an amazing amount of things while I was gone. He got two of the cars in and out of the shop, hung up a wall-hanging his cousins gave us a few months back of Reunion Island, replaced my non-functioning radiator in my office with the working one we never used from the entryway, did some laundry, and cleaned up the house for his dad's visit on Wednesday -- and managed all of it with Noah underfoot.

I told him if he could get that much done with me gone, I should probably leave more often!

So here it is, mid-January, and we may be about to get back into our routine this week since Frédéric started back to work yesterday, and I will have to start doing school runs again. Benjamin's swimming lessons through school start in a couple of weeks, and he can't wait.

In other news, we got Noah a ski helmet and mask, and his ski boots arrived last week, so both boys are now fully equipped and ready for our mountain vacation next month.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Christmas that Keeps on Giving

We seem to have never-ending Christmases over here. I guess that is what happens when the family doesn't want to get together for one big Christmas all together.

Last weekend after gymnastics, we went over to Frédéric's sister and brother-in-law's house for our fifth Christmas. Actually it was a combination Christmas and Epiphany celebration, since we ate the galette des rois that his sister made for us.

Of course, the highlight for the kids was more presents.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Little Gymnasts

The boys are always happy to get back to gymnastics class after a break, and Christmas vacation was no exception. They both jumped right back in, and Noah is becoming more brave week by week. Both are making huge progress in becoming more agile.

Each has his own set of rules to follow at gymnastics, instituted by us. Noah has to be brave and try everything, and Benjamin has to not try to "win" or be the fastest, just do his very best, and not run over the little kids.

Since Frédéric has been on vacation, he's been able to join us for the classes for the past few weeks. It makes it much easier when there is one of us for each of them!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Another Man's Treasure

After returning from Germany, we went to the secondhand shop one morning to look around for armchairs for the dining room. The ones we found were hideous yellow leather, and recovering them looked to be difficult because they were on a metal frame, so we decided not to buy them, but we did find this super cute light fixture for Noah's room (for only 5 €!).

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fourth Christmas and New Year's in Germany

When the Burkholders left on the 28th, we headed over to Germany to visit the Hummels for Christmas #4 and New Year's. We left the French snow behind to be greeted by... the German snow.

All the kids were very excited about having another Christmas.

Emiley and I got a day out to visit the town of Esslingen.

Starbucks and a Chinese food lunch were the highlights of our day. As a friend commented on my facebook post about it, "Nothing says Germany like Chinese food." Unless it's Starbucks!

Then a couple of days later, we rang in the new year with champagne and fireworks (being the mean parents we are, we put our kids to bed long before midnight! and we were thrilled that they slept through the fireworks).

I must say that I'm not overly impressed with the new camera's "fireworks" setting, which ends up making most of them look just like a bunch of dots. This was the best of the bunch. Guess I need to read the manual more instead of relying on the automatic settings!

New Year's Day we headed home, in the hopes that the boys would sleep better in their own beds than they did at our friends' house, and Benjamin wouldn't be too cranky for school on Monday. (That hope ended up unrealized, but I'm only supposed to be posting nice things on here so we'll skip that.)