Sweet Little Old Ladies
La Napoule Art Foundation
A few weeks ago when we were at the beach, a young woman approached me and asked me in French if Sophie and Mailys were my kids. When I replied, she recognized that I was not French, and began speaking in English.
She introduced me to her friend, Rachelle, from New York. They were both enjoying eight weeks of artist residency at the Chateau. So cool! Rachelle wanted to photograph the girls together, and so a week or so later we got together and she did just that.
She has left for NY already, and her pictures were real film, but I can't wait to see them in a few weeks.
Sophie FINALLY gets a party
Here I am, finally a bit calm after a very stressful morning. I couldn't find the top of the beater to make the icing for the cake, and then the plates I bought had mysteriously disappeared (until Sam showed us where he hid them to keep them "safe.").
Everyone loved the Pillsbury white cake with homemade chocolate icing--not a speck of cake was left! I was sad there were no leftovers to snack on the next day!
Jeremy (in the background) made a treasure hunt, and each girl got to find a "chou chou", those hair things that you can see in Sophie's hair in the top picture. That and jumping on the trampoline pretty much filled up the whole three hours!
It started the other day when I went to Auchan with Carter and I felt totally normal. Like it was normal for me to go to this store in France with my son. Like NOT a stranger.
Then the other morning when I woke up, I realized that all my dreams during the night had been in French.
Today I had an appointment with a therapist to check out my shoulder/neck region from when I fell off the horse at Christmas. He asked me to do a lot of different things while he stretched my arms and neck, etc. and I understood everything he said!
Later I went with Sabrina to Quick (fast food restaurant) with the kids, because the weather was bad and we could have the picnic we had planned. While we were there, the kids were playing in the play place and there was a little accident between two of the boys in our group. I was near the boys, when a man behind me said something and when I turned I saw the blood on the mouth of Matisse. I called out for Sabrina, and she took care of him. Here comes the exciting part: I (without hesitating) turned to the man and asked him what happened, he explained it to me, gave his opinion about the situation and walked off. Shortly after that he came back over to ask about cleaning up the blood on the ground.
This is exciting for me because it was so . . . normal! I love learning this language and am so thankful for all the Francophones that make it possible! xoxo!
Last Friday night, the Husson's invited all of us over for a Lebanese meal. (Nicolas was born and raised in Lebanon, and his parents still live there. He went to France when he was 18 to do his studies).
We had a great meal, with things like Tabouleh, Moussakah, Hommus, etc. But the the interesting thing was that Dave's Dad and Nicolas were trying to talk politics together. Kent only speaks English, Nicolas speaks French and can understand a bit of English, and Dave and I were the translators. Ha ha.
Trying to translate complicated political ideas from English to French with our limited abilities was a real hoot! But we were both really happy that we could at least try without being totally frustrated!
We went for a Sunday afternoon stroll to Antibes. Beautiful! There is a wall of ancient ramparts that you can walk along and enjoy the sea, and see cute townhouses like this one . . .
. . .or scare your children by making them climb up on the edge of the wall for a picture. (and wonder how you could have done such a bad job cutting your husband's hair!) . .
. . .Or unknowingly get your picture snapped by Grandpa.
It was a great afternoon!
Letter from Auron
Please write back I can't stand it. I love you so much, i need a letter from you, and I need you I want a package from you, Please Please PLEASE please write back. Because I love you so so so so so SO much WRITE BACK
(punctuation as written)
What We Have Been Doing
Sophie (7): "Mom, Jules and his little brother always bother me on the playground."
Sam (5): "Sophie, why don't you you tell me when they bother you and I'll punch them for you."
Our Backyard Friends
*Walked around the town, saw this enormous dog
*Staked out the restaurants to decide where to have lunch
*Bought some souvenirs
*Bought gas for $9 a gallon
*Tried to hang out at the school, but were promptly kicked out
*Took a little nap in the car
*Had an extremely long lunch, where we laughed at the menu for things like this:
I guess SOME posts don't need a photo
After we finished our relaxing afternoon, we returned to pick up Carter, but spent some time chatting and then decided to make an apple pie.
We were busy in the kitchen when her son came running in shouting something about Carter having "crotte" everywhere. I wasn't too bothered as his nose had been running for days, and a little snot was not going to hurt anything.
Unfortunately there are lots of kinds of "crotte", including crotte des yeux (green gunk in your eyes), crotte des oreilles (ear wax), crotte de nez (boogers), and then there is good old fashioned crotte. You know, the kind that stinks and causes people to gag upon the viewing and or smelling of it.
So when I walked into the family room, both the sight and smell of the scene was both immediately horrifying and puzzling. How on earth had Carter managed to remove not only his jeans, but also his diaper and manage to have crotte all over his legs, the diaper, the floor AND the jeans? And more importantly, WHY?????
I immediately grabbed him and ran uptairs to the bath to get him cleaned off while dying of embarrassment and gasping "I am SO sorry!" all the way up the stairs.
Luckily my friend is a good sport, and unfortunately as a doctor working in an old folks home, has seen a lot worse that a little toddler crotte.
And fortunately, the apple pie was not affected by the surrounding events, and we all enjoyed a little slice of Americana this afternoon.
Need a VACATION? Go to San Diego!
Are you a retired couple who need a week in the sun?
A family who has up to six children?
A young family with a couple of kids who wants to go with grandma and grandpa?
A young family with a couple of kids who have some friends with a couple of kids?
*beach, sea world, lego land, la jolla, coronado island, zoo, wild animal park, bbq on the patio, hot tub, aquarium, balboa park, historic san diego, outlet shopping . . . tempting?*
From Saturday April 5th through Saturday April 12th, we invite our blog reading friends to rent our condo for $1,000. That's down from the usual rate by $500. If you go with someone else, you can split the cost and therefore each family only pays $500.
Visit us at www.vrbo.com/83904
The park down the street from our place
one of the swimming pools
aerial view. We are the red dot!
So I figured it would be safe to go and spend our very expensively purchased euros. I LOVE IT!! Not only is it the only store where I have found regular popsicles for when my kids are sick and won't drink or eat . . . but they have superb meal selections.
Like this soup, for example. It comes in a bag and inside there are little frozen cubes of soup. You place as many as you like in a pan, warm them up, and serve with a baguette and salad. Et voila! Dinner.
Okay, okay, I'm probably the laziest cook on the planet, because somewhere out there a normal person is saying to themselves: "I could make that soup in two seconds." or "Yeah, the frozen soup thing has been around for ages."
But for the often lazy cook that lives in France-Go to Picard!
The doctor asked Sophie to do some basic things like count as high as she can, write her name, write some numbers, etc. Then she did some very interesting tests that can determine signs of certain learning disabilities. One test involved the doctor tapping her pen underneath the desk and having Sophie repeat (or inversely repeat) the pattern. This test was to look for signs of ADD.
She also did an eye exam and took some information about Sophie's birth. During this portion, the language barrier led the doctor to believe that Sophie and Sam were twins and even still Sophie weighed 10 pounds at birth! (I also had a ball trying to figure out how much 10 pounds is in kilograms.) After I explained that she is 18 months older than him, she lost the astonished look on her face.
Needless to say, at 7 years old, Sophie is officially cleared to go to first grade.
This morning we loaded Abby's class onto the big tour bus and left for Auron! We had to take a detour to Vallauris to pick up another class from another school, which prolonged the actual departure, but soon enough we were on our way.
It was about two hours in the bus, and poor Alexandre made it two minutes away from the Snow School before vomiting. Boy was that exciting!
Unfortunately, it doesn't look like there's much snow at Auron, so hopefully a storm will blow in and at least dust the place sometime in the next 13 days!
I got to experience the cafeteria, which served a great lunch of carrot salad, roast chicken, green beans, bread, cheese and fruit. Abby wasn't too interested in the carrot salad! A few of the young (20-something) "animators" came in after lunch and made funny jokes about what to do with your napkin and how to behave in the cafeteria. I think they will make the experience very fun for the kids.
This is my sweet Abby when she realized I was about to leave her for two weeks. She put on such a brave face, but when I hugged her goodbye, I could feel her sadness and wanted to cry as much as she did!