Archive for the ‘…en Famille’ Category

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Adapting…

July 1, 2010

After a long day of being cuddled.

Thanks to all of you!  Elody is wonderful.  She’s very content and sleeps well in between eating.  I’m busy adjusting to daily life on few consecutive hours of sleep. I apologize for my absence.  I miss blogging.  I see that I am going to have to reorganize my daily routine to fit any kind of writing in.  I used to write in the evenings and then briefly review what I’ve written the next morning before posting it.  Each day I tell myself I’ll write a bit after the kids are in bed.  And then evening comes and as soon as the kids are asleep, if baby allows, I am too.  I say this as I nurse Elody and type with one hand, in fact, one finger, on my left hand, reaching over and up to the high table on which my laptop sits beside me.  It’s a slow process. 

Elody and Papa at the final Words & Wine dinner. She was an unofficial guest for many of the events and tastings.

It’s taken me over a week to finish this one paragraph averaging about a sentence a day until something, or someone, demands my attention.  This is the first night I haven’t fallen asleep on the couch (or wanted to) in weeks.  I have to add, it’s been an eventful few weeks for other reasons as well.  We just wrapped up Words & Wine 2010 which I’ll post about in another day or two. Grandma just returned to the states after a two week visit overlapping with Words & Wine.   And we’re beginning the heavy season for the bed & breakfast.  Today is the first day of the Cordes en Ballades, a two week music event for which we are book a year in advance.  And this weekend our town is hosting the International pétanque Competition.  The tourist season has begun along with this sweltering weather – which I love by the way.

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And baby makes 6…

June 14, 2010

 

When I discovered I was pregnant again I admit I had a hard time accepting it.  My only hope was that this baby would finally be that boy – three girls were enough, I thought.  Then the doctor told me I was having another girl and I took it harder than Raphael who was not at all surprised.  Eventually I adjusted to the idea of having four girls.  Life was so busy I didn’t have much time to dwell on it either way.  Then a week ago, I fell in love again when a  tiny new baby was placed on my chest.  I knew in my heart that this baby girl completed my family. 

Four sisters.

Elody Gabrielle Pommier was born on June 5th one day after her older sister’s 3rd birthday.  Raphael said I went into labor on the 4th because I was so anxious about Angeline having to share her birthday with the new baby that it induced contractions.  Elody was born at 3:55 AM just into the 5th.  Our plan is to celebrate two days of birthdays each year – a cake and party on the 4th for Angeline and a second cake and party on the 5th for Elody.  We’ll see how long this lasts.

Elody weighed 3.75 kilos – about 8 pounds.  The doctor told me in my 8th month that she would be a small baby compared to the others.  Turns out he was wrong.  She precedes Auriane in birth weight and Auriane was 10 days late.  Elody measured 52 centimeters.  I packed newborn size clothes for the delivery room and later that morning when I first changed her, I discover the onesie came to her belly.  Raphael was dispatched to raid her dresser for size one month clothes for the rest of our hospital stay. 

 Elody is typically spelled Elodie in French.  We changed it because of the ‘die’ ending.  A few American’s pronounced it Elo(die).  She is an especially easy baby which is good for a fourth.  She sleeps well through most nights and only cries when she’s hungry.  Since this will be my last baby, I spend more time holding her and enjoying her which makes us both content.

The girls have accepted this new addition to the family without complaint.  The biggest disputes are over who gets to hold her first and who held her longer.  Angeline is the exception.  So far she seems okay with Elody but she rarely asks to hold her, and like the dog, gets nervous when Elody cries.  Olivia thinks Elody is cute and sweet just as long as she doesn’t sleep in her room, she ‘already has two sisters in her room.’  Auriane is happy that Elody doesn’t ’embête’ her.  She loves babies but the newness will soon wear off and Elody will grow into the bothersome sister that Angeline has become over the past year and a half. 

Cyclists pass the winery.

Elody had her first sortie upon our return from the hospital – to the end of the Domaine to watch the Critérium du Dauphiné bicycle race.  During the 20 minute wait for the cyclists to pass, she was oohed and ahhed over by the neighbors while she slept peacefully in her stroller.  Then, like a school of fish, the cyclists sped past tilting and swaying around the curves.  They were followed by two motorcycles one with a cameraman balanced on his knees on the back and about 20 cars with replacement bikes on their roofs.  That adventure over, we returned to the house and were off the pick up the girls from school.

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Waiting for baby…

May 28, 2010

I realize I’ve been slacking on my writing these past few weeks.  As I near the end of this pregnancy, only a week left to go, along with all the other wonderful things that occur in the final month – difficulty sleeping, back aches, moodiness, I find it difficult to focus on any one thing at a time including writing.  While each day brings new things to write about, I can’t seem to concentrate long enough to form a proper post and those that I have published are not at the standard at which I would like them to be. 

I wish I could say I’ve been distracted with daydreaming about the baby and her arrival.  We don’t even have a name picked out (We’re taking suggestions.).  Until this past week, my distractions have been due to preparing the bed & breakfast for the season.  One would think all the work of packing up and moving boxes of books and toys as well as ‘helping’ Raphael move furniture would make the baby come sooner.  The first two were both over two weeks late and I’m beginning to wonder about this one. 

This also, along with the harvest month, happens to be Raphael’s busiest season in the fields.  Between early morning and late night treatments, I am doing most of the care for the three kids alone.  And given my energy level and mood, I’m on the verge of feeding them bowls of cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  They’ll be thrilled since they take after their American genes in this case and love cereal.  The only problem is the amount of sugar.  Their excessive energy levels might put me over the edge.

So, for the next week, if baby doesn’t come, I’ll be republishing posts from my former blog.  And I’m making a list of everything I want to write about to make it up to you when my energy is low only due to sleepless nights and not due to a second human being sucking it all up from the inside.

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Pieces of spring…

May 3, 2010

I’m trying to work on my photography skills.  I don’t have the most advanced camera but it’s hard for me to pass up an opportunity to attempt what I think could be a nice photo.  In college, I was required to take a photography course.  At that time there were no digital camera so everything was like ‘in the olden days’ with manual focus and manual developing.  The teacher was eccentric and I’m not sure I learned much but I enjoyed the photo taking even if my results were often out of focus.  So here’s a selection of my recent attempts…  Okay, so they’re mostly kids.  My family will be happy with this post.

Too bad this wasn't in focus.

 

I love this tree for its purple blossoms and the scent the give off.  Unfortunately, it grows in area that is distracted by other, less attractive items – just behind the girl’s swing set which is how I came to notice the butterfly and before that, a hummingbird, tasting the flowers nectar, while watching Angeline play.  Behind the swing set is a wall on the other side of which is our chantier, or house in progress, at present piles of various size and quality of stone, a selection of wooden and metal beams, and stuff that I consider ready for the déchetterie.  This lovely tree provides a much needed source of beauty in the area. 

Catching butterfly's.

 

Auriane and a wild leek.

 

 

 

 

Filou.

 Filou is for sale if anyone is interested.  He’s really cute.  Perfect with the kids.  Angeline pulls him around by his leash and Auriane likes to carry him around but seems to always pick him up by his rear and under his neck.  I feel bad for the poor thing except that he is not so fond of Raphael and barks continuously when he is around. 

Must not forget Kitty.

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Keeping busy in the states

February 24, 2010

Our trip to the states is winding to an end along with the snow that dumped on the region when we arrived. 

 These visits seem to follow the same pattern each trip – minus the holiday visits which have their own obligations.  On weekends I scramble to visit everyone, both friends and family who are working during the week.  Monday through Friday, however, I struggle to find things to occupy the girls who after two or three days of freedom and ‘new’ toys, are bored and bouncing off the walls.

Vacationing in the states, for me, is in fact not so much a vacation.  I come to the states with a handful of good intentions, like New Year’s resolutions.  With none of the obligations that take up my time in France like school and activity taxiing, homework, meal cooking, and the endless cleaning that comes with a family of five and a bed and breakfast, I am under the illusion that for these few weeks, I will have time to relax.  In fact, without the regular routine of school, I have constant kid duty.  Those things I do almost daily in France that are organized into my ‘free’ time (school hours) like writing, blogging, exercising, and reading the bible, are almost impossible to squeeze into my days.  Not because I’m so busy.  Quite the opposite, as with the girls, during the weekdays I’m bored. 

I find myself in an unaccustomed situation which is familiar to most American stay at home mom’s – my children at home all day, every day.  I discover that when I try to exercise with three kids under 7 years old in the house, children who’ve been all but ignoring me most of the morning while I do dishes or laundry suddenly begin fighting or  ‘need’ things.  The same thing happens when I try to read or write.  As soon as I occupy myself in what appears to them to be an entertaining activity ‘things’ happen;  boo-boo’s, arguments, minor accidents like spills or broken toys.  My purse and make-up bag become community property, bathroom sinks become swimming pools for stuffed animals, Barbies, and grandma’s toothbrush.  I’ve spent many and afternoon fishing a Polly Pocket hat or shoe from the drain. 

I wonder how I would handle motherhood in the states with only one child in school full-time.  I am learing motherhood with a French attitude.  I remember the summer before Olivia was due to start school.  I worried that she was too young, just a baby at under three, to begin school.  Although that is the standard school age in France.  I was pregnant with Auriane at the time and she was due late September just a few short weeks after Olivia started her first year.  Would Olivia think I traded her in for a new baby?  Well, her rentree went incredibly well and it gave me time to adjust to a second child.  I adjusted so well that the next two began shortly after their 2nd birthdays. 

What do American mom’s do with their children all day until they are five years old?  In an effort to cut down on TV and movie watching while in the states (And they do much more here than in France.), I search for games and activities that diffuse their energy.  Thanks to the snow, they’ve spent time most days outside.  We read books and play games.  They’ve never been cleaner thanks to ridiculously long baths full of toys.  They color, play dress-up (In fact, they’re rarely dressed in street clothes so why do I pack so much?)  We’ve gone to museums and indoor play areas.  I’m exhausted.  But if I don’t keep them busy, they jump on the couch and run around in circles, literally.  And they fight.  Is this what all full-time mom’s go through?

My visits to the states are a nice break from the trials of life in France and I need these times to visit my family and friends, but by the time I return to France, I look forward to getting back to my routine of school runs, activities and cleaning.