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A Canadian expatriate living and exploring first France now Germany, then BACK to FRANCE (!!!) with her family; former fashion designer, turned unexpected UNLIKELY NOMAD, raising two children, writing, photographing, painting, playing piano (who knew!!) and blogging - and now... full time student at ART SCHOOL!! (I MUST be crazy!!)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Boxed In

The tedium…the humdrum…it is starting to get grey and chilly here (plus the chocolate is all gone) …*yawn* and it’s not even February yet…

My kids are at school all day today and so far I have had a German lesson, lunch and a nap. Not so good. Sort of gearing up for a crazy weekend as we have some of our friend’s children for two days and TBG comes home today (at least that’s my excuse). Somehow I always feel compunction to have the house compulsively tidy whenever he gets home…sort of like I feel we need to rack up against Sofitel…(*Chuh*)…like he has not seen our place a mess and like it is my job…*ughhh*

Gosh gotta get to the laundry, run some errands-sort out dinner yada-yada-yada…


My kids more specifically. Riel is utterly, utterly absorbed right now with making houses out of cardboard boxes. On my last trip to Ikea I came home with a slick office chair which of course included a nifty kid sized carton and the lights I bought also included even niftier doll sized boxes. Quick as a blink Riel had fashioned himself a set of carving knives out of Lego, (really)…with such an imagination the child will never lack for anything that’s for sure, and he instantly set to work carving out openings and fitting little boxes into big ones and constructing all manner of magic access panels and such.

This cardboard box thing has reached epic proportions and has been going on endlessly for about two weeks now. Every time I go into the play room, nay even turn around, he and Lily have built an entire subdivision out of a combination of boxes, the play table, its chairs, a compilation of the dissected elements of both their beds including the foam mattresses and blankets. The room is FULL. He has his quiet time in there all fortressed up, roofed in under some sort of contrived combination of things, having dragged in his comforter and Cleo. One day I walked in to discover him on the floor lying IN the barely big enough box on its side head-first-with-just-his-bum-hanging-out happy as a clam. Very funny.

All well and good. But the mess and subsequent Mommy driven reconstruction bi-daily not too mention the constant distraction from the things-that-must-be-done is driving me INSANE. Every time I turn around it is like a Greenspan building site in there and the child cannot walk past any of it without completely losing his way. I have threatened to pitch the whole kit and caboodle, as it is driving me crazy, but can’t quite bring myself to do it as they are deriving such obvious pleasure from it all.

Yesterday I picked up something downtown that had been ordered and had arrived (god forbid) in a box. Riel was with me and his eyes instantly lit up. He timidly asked the sales clerk if he could have the box.

“Oh yes, yes” she breathed in her French-sales-clerky way…”Ve have many many boxes here, you can always come and pick up as many as you like…

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Sort of a ho hum day today, the children are really tired as the week moves along. They have been fighting, gosh it makes me want to just wrap them up tight in blankets with just their heads sticking out, end the day and just put them to bed for the night…which by the way is what I have done albeit after baths and dinner with their little limbs loose and unfettered…as normal.

Anyway got through all the whining and screaming without loosing my cool…pat on the back for me.

TBG is in Germany until Thursday for the second or third week in a row and I must confess this routine is getting a little tiring.

Lily and I prepared all the dough for our annual ginger bread Christmas activities this year. I hope to do a little house, some big kid shaped cookies for the children to decorate and cookies to eat and gift.
I love doing this every year and it has become a bit of a tradition. I love the smell and the tang of the ginger and the silky feel of the dough. It was fun doing this with Lily though at one point it was getting a little scary with two bowls of unmixed dough, a bowl or two of flour and other ingredients lurking around and a big sink of goopy water, what with her intense desire to have one hand in every pot as it were. Lily had a great time in the mess, watching the mixer do its efficient job, sifting and stirring and washing.

So now we have a great big bowl of dough all ready to go, waiting for little hands to shape, form, bake and eat.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Oui Oui

My BIG girl made her very own bed this morning and when I went into her room after she had left for school this morning this is what I found.

So sweet!!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

This and That

The children’s star system is working brilliantly; we have been doing it for about a month now. The kid’s love it and it has had the desired effect of changing my focus from harping endlessly about all the stuff that is bugging me to chatting more about what we like to see…(it just occurred to me maybe I needed it more then they did!! *cringe*…)
In any case we have had to revamp the rewards section a bit do some tweaking and fine tuning as they were doing so very well it was getting a bit ripe around here with rewards.
I would have to say overall there has been a pretty dramatic improvement on the behavior front and they are now actually dreaming up new “GOOD” things to do to earn stars.
Gotta love it.

On an entirely different front we have had a little trouble in paradise. TBG went up to the caravan a few weekends ago to discover that it had been broken into. Nothing to serious for us but not only had it been broken into but several others as well and one of them even had been set to fire, burning it right to the ground. It seems all that was left was but a charred frame with only the fenders left (not even the tires) causing its two propane canisters to explode turning them into nice tidy little missiles that were discovered several tens of metres away. Apparently the culprits were 3 local boys aged 12-16 who were found at the scene in the middle of the afternoon.

As a parent can you IMAGINE????

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Halloween 06

I must confess I am a bit remiss in not posting our Halloween pics. We had our party over a month ago, a joint effort by our Mother's group. It was awesome, we rented a hall, and had the entire thing decorated and ready to go in just over an hour an d half. Each mom took on one responsibility and supplied a game, some food and helped with the set up. It was a blast and everyone had LOTS of fun. Pics as follows.

The Mummy wrapping contest.

Princess Lily in her papier mache crown

Some Faery Friends!!

Knight Riel in the papier mache helmet

What exactly I am doing bellowing with this role of toilet paper in my hand is not clear...but in *ahem* any case....

a good time was had by all!!


Today Riel was at school all day and I kept Lily home for the afternoon. She has been having trouble going to sleep the past few nights and last night for the first time ever she was talking about all the things she felt afraid of. Imagine almost four years old and never a word before about fear?

I sort of felt like my absence in Chicago this last weekend kind of made her feel a bit on shaky ground. Now you see Mommy.....Now you don't kind of thing.

Soooo anyway I decided to keep her with me this afternoon so we could spend a little bit of girlie time together. Well girlie time turned out to be an afternoon at Ikea buying a new office chair for Mommy to try to seduce Mommy's back back up to work in her office again...apparently in so far as unsuccessful as evidenced by semi reclined typist on heating pads on the couch writing blog entries while the kids sleep...*ahem* anywhoo..back to the story...

Lily is so cheerful and so interested in it ALL, we had a great time poking around, touching, feeling and chattering about everything there (plus Mom kinda likes Ikea too...)

At one point we came across a big bin of fluffy sheepskin pelts for bedside carpets to warm early-morning-just-out-of-bed-toes and Lily was very happy to stop and feel how lovely and soft they were.

I explained to her that they were sheepskins.

Lily looked sharply at me with her big chocolate coloured eyes wrinkled into a puzzled expression and said "But Mommy, the sheeps can't put them on ....because there aren't any sheeps around here!!"


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

More on Annie

Today Riel is feeling yucky...

He has a fever and the chills, a headache and a yucky tummy.

Poor guy.

I called his teacher to let her know that he would be staying home for the afternoon, and she said that she could see he was tired and not feeling very well.

The she said "Give him a big kiss for me and I hope he feels better soon."

(In french of course...)

She IS so sweet!!

Monday, November 6, 2006


They were very excited to go back to school after our 10 day break near Halloween.

They looked so sweet all dressed up and ready to go...of course you know how hard it is to get little kids to stand still for a picture...what with all the goofing going on.
Sort of special too; Lily is wearing a kilt that my Mom made me that I wore on my very first day of school ...

One day last week Riel said to me breathily....

"Oh Mom... I can't wait to go back to school..."

"Why Riel, Do you really like it?"

"Yes I do , but I really can't wait to see my teacher Annie... sigh"

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Team Bowling the French way...

Team bowling, we went with our friends from New Jersey. The kids had a blast, we played air hockey, ate a yummy lunch and the kids learned how to bowl...Corny but very very fun...Riel won!!

What we have been up to...