Saturday, November 30, 2013

How I spent Black Friday.

I spent the holiday between Thanksgiving and Christmas, otherwise known as Black Friday in the United States, in the absolute best way I know how:
I went for a (short) run on the mountain.
I snuggled with my Little Miss.
I drank coffee and watched College Football with the love of my life.
I practiced Bikram Yoga.
I ate a lot of leftovers with a nice glass of French wine.  
I wore pyjamas most of the day.
I know we're on the other side of the ocean and there's no way I could have made it to Target at 4 AM (or, dare I say, 5 PM on Thanksgiving...vomit) even if I had wanted to. But honestly I'm so glad to be away from all that hubbub. I don't care how much I could have saved on something I probably don't need, there's no way I'd have spent "Black Friday" in any other way.  
A la prochaine friends...

Gobble Tov.

I don't know about you guys, but I am having THE BEST holiday weekend with my little family. First off, Thanksgiving/the beginning of Hanukkah was great. We missed our friends and families back home, but really took the time to appreciate all that we have here. We got started a little late on the cooking, but that's because we took the morning to enjoy the fact that it was our first Thanksgiving as a family of three. We drank pumpkin spice lattes, cuddled our Little Miss, watched the Philadelphia and Chicago parades, and stayed in our pyjamas all day long. As much as I would have liked to have started the cooking earlier, I wouldn't have changed our morning for the world. 

We managed to order a turkey from a local butcher (not an easy feat in France this far from Christmas), and picked it up Thanksgiving  morning. To accompany our french turkey we made stuffing, candied yams, string beans, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. We also had a few French desserts from the boulangerie next to the butcher, bread, cheese, dried meats, and snap peas. I was on designated baby duty, so the only thing I made was the pie (which was delicious if I do say so myself), leaving Doc to everything else. He did not disappoint. I'm so lucky to have a hubby that not only loves to cook, but is really, really, realllly good at it. 

We didn't end up eating until about 10:20 PM, but we joked that it was because we wanted to eat at the same time as our families back in the United States. We didn't care. We had each other. We had a good friend over to share our meal with. We had beer. We had football on the TV...and really, is there anything else you need for a good Thanksgiving? 


Here's hoping that you and yours had a holiday to warm your hearts & fill your bellies...

A la prochaine friends...


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

7 weeks.

On Monday, Little Miss turned 7 weeks old! It's amazing how much she's changed in just the three weeks that my parents were here. When they left for the airport early yesterday morning, my mom couldn't stop saying, "She's like a totally different baby, such a big girl now..." Some of her favorite things at the moment include practicing standing, her papa's whistling, and being entertained by shadows on the wall. Oh and snuggling. Snuggling is her favorite.  

And even though its cliche, it's true: she's growing SO fast. Pyjamas that seemed like they would forever be too big on her are now too small, leaving me wondering how she ever squeezed into them in the first place. She's just about outgrown her bassinet as well. 

And through it all, I'm trying desperately to slow down. Rather than look at the dishes in the sink that need to be washed, I'm trying to focus my energies on the fact that her time of being this little is fleeting, and to cherish all the snuggling now. She'll always need her mama, but not in this capacity. One day she won't want to cuddle for hours with mama and papa. I want to make sure I make the most of it now, before it's gone. There will always be dirty dishes, but there won't always be days of snuggling with this little human. I'm so beyond thankful for the opportunity to stay at home with her, to nurture her, comfort her and excitedly (albeit sometimes a bit begrudgingly) watch her grow on a day to day basis. We can't wait to see the person that our little girl becomes. 

Well, now that you're diabetic from all that sappy ness, I'm off to finalize our Expat Thanksgiving dinner menu for tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving Eve everyone! 

A la prochaine friends...


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Oswin's First French Market.

Last week, Oswin checked another first off of her list: her first French market. And what better market to be her first than our favorite and local market right here in Thoiry! 

With my parents in tow, we walked the mile into town, saying hello to the cows and mountain along the way... 

...and once there began to show Oswin the ropes. For starters, always take pictures, because as an expat, you never know how many French markets you're going to get. 

Second, always get the staples: bread, cheese, olives and flowers. And sometimes Vietnamese food. (It's true.) 

And lastly, always be willing to try new things. We've been here for almost 4 years now and we're still finding new things at our market. This week for instance, we got some dried peaches from our olive guy that were just to die for. Seriously, they were like little pieces of highly addictive candy. You just never know what you're gonna find, so always be open to try new things! 

With our wicker baskets full, we began the mile trek home to spend the day hanging out with family, eating the goodies we procured at the market, and watching American football - is there anything that screams more French Sunday than that? 

Ok, two out of three French Sunday things ain't bad..

A la prochaine friends...


Thursday, November 21, 2013


It's official. Our little miss Oswin Jade, exists. Where previous to today she merely existed in body and soul alone, she now exists in a manner most fitting for the international community at large: as the newest (and cutest) article of red tape. 

Today Doc and I spent some time over at the Mairie in Meyrin, Switzerland, clarifying with some very official Swiss people the differences between a  prenom and a middle name (which, to our surprise is actually not a middle name by American standards), signing papers, and being ticky tacky over city of birth vs. county of birth. In the end, signatures were signed, papers were stamped, and our little girl, now 6 weeks after her birth, has a birth certificate. Next we can officially begin the process to acquire her passport, and from there the world is her (and our) oyster. 

Congrats little miss, you're well on your way! 

A la prochaine friends...


The fig doesn't fall far from the tree.

It borderline creeps me out how much Oswin is like me. Friends have called her my mini me or my shrinky dink, just based on how she looks, but that's only the tip if the iceberg. 

The noises she makes, when she does, well, anything (I make lots of noises apparently)...the weird positions she sleeps in...her expressions...her attitude...

Sometimes when she gets upset or is seemingly being dramatic, I get frustrated, until I realize "OMG she's ME."

It's surreal to see how the mini version of yourself acts in situations, and compare it to how you act...and realize its the same. Albeit it more primitive, but really the same.  

How is Doc going to handle TWO of me?

In other news, she's starting to smile a lot more, which just melts my heart every time I see that toothless grin. This morning the smiles were met with laughing and smiling in her sleep, a match made in cute kid overload heaven, and I just couldn't take it. How do our hearts as new mamas just not burst every single day?  

A la prochaine friends...


Monday, November 18, 2013

6 weeks old.

Oh, and not to be outdone by the merde show that has been today, Oswin just turned 6 weeks old! Way to go little dragon! 

I'm thinking (and hoping) that the fussiness of today is her 6 week growth spurt...

...and wondering if the rest of this week will be a lot more of the same.

Fingers crossed that the continuation of her sixth week goes a littler smoother than it began, for her sake and mine.

And oh yeah, in case you missed it, here was her 5 week picture! 

A la prochaine friends...


Little Miss and Smaug the Inconsolable.

Today is just one of those days. Little Miss Oswin Jade, despite having slept like a freaking champ last night (only woke up once to eat, and at 5 am no less), has tapped into her inner alter ego all damn day today: that of Smaug the Inconsolable. (Yes, we liken our adorable little 6 week old daughter to a gold loving, fire breathing dragon from "The Hobbit." Saying she is merely small but mighty seems like a bit of an understatement when it comes to this wee little being, so a mighty dragon wrecking havoc on dwarves seemed more fitting.) 

It's been one of those days where she won't tolerate being held by anyone but me. Where her bassinet just won't due. Where only one sock is allowed. Where her Binky is her most important accessory. Where nursing and pumping are competing, rather than working as a team. Where laundry drying racks full of wet clothes fall over at inopportune times. Little miss is certainly running the show today, and though part of me is frustrated with the unmade bed, the pile of sheets that I just can't get into the washer, and the one cookie and cold cup of coffee I've managed to consume today, the other part of me is relishing the former as an excuse to bogart time with my daughter. You can hash tag that one "ALLthesnuggles." I feel bad because my parents want to help out, but sometimes babies just want their mama I guess...

{Sling by Sakura Bloom in maple}

Also of note, if my posts begin looking a little unlike my typical posts in terms of formatting, it's because it seems like the only way I can jot down my thoughts lately is via the Blogger app on my phone, and I honestly have no idea what the final product looks like. I'll eventually, at some point, hopefully before Oswin is a toddler, will get back over to my computer, turn it on, and adjust things, but for now it's a lot of one hand typing on my iPhone during Oswin's milk drunk sleep or while pumping. So apologies to my majorly OCD husband for spacing issues. :)

(Who am I kidding, it bothers the hell out if me too.)

For now I've got a little dragon's stinky diaper to change...

A la prochaine friends...


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Checking in before catching up.

Happy Sunday everyone! How has your weekend (and week) been? I've been MIA over here at the blog for the last week or so, as my parents have been in town, and there's been a lot of catching up (and introductions) to do. They've been spoiling us and Oswin, and walking up a storm here on the mountain, so in other words they've been having the best time ever. I've never seen either of them as happy as when they're holding our almost 6 week old (!!!) little girl, or when she makes a goofy face at them. I've got some posts to catch up on this week, and tons of pictures of course, but just wanted to check in and say bonjour in the meantime. Hope you've all had a great weekend and catch you this week! 

A la prochaine friends...


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

How to: Overwintering Fig Trees

So, you've tried your hand at propagating fig trees, via either soil or water, and want to know what to do now that the weather is turning cold. Well, good news! After all your hard work at getting your little cutting to leaf and root, you're about to get a little bit of a break.

By now, the leaves of your tree are probably starting to turn yellow, or may have begun to fall off. This may seem like the tree is not doing well, but in actuality this is exactly what is supposed to happen. This is the natural process of the tree going into dormancy for the winter, and is a sign that it is about time to overwinter your tree until the spring.

What does it mean to overwinter your tree? It means to provide your potted tree with a space to spend the winter in dormancy. The tree essentially goes into hibernation and will wake up in the spring when it begins to grow new leaves. To effectively overwinter your tree it needs a cold environment but away from the elements of frost and strong icy winds.

When should you overwinter your tree? When the last leaf has fallen off of your tree naturally.

What's needed to overwinter your potted fig tree? An area of your home, like a garage, that is unheated. Some people specify that the area needs to be without light, but our garage gets a good amount of sunlight and I've never had a problem with it affecting our fig trees. The area however should remain unheated, as the presence of heat can effect the tree's natural cycle.

How to care for your overwintered tree? When I said you get a break, I meant it. Once the tree goes into dormancy it does not need a lot of care to survive. One to two cups of water (depending on the size of the tree) every two weeks is all the tree needs to survive. (Many say you only need to water the tree once a month, but I prefer twice a month.) For our trees in large pots, I give them two cups of water during feedings, and one cup of water for the trees in smaller pots at those same feedings. Once the tree begins to grow new leaves, usually in the early spring (though this may vary depending on where you live), I slowly ramp up how often I feed the plants. By May 10th, back outside they go.   

Now wish your tree a happy sleep and good luck!
A la prochaine friends...

Monday, November 4, 2013

Lazy weekend.

Happy Monday everyone! How was your weekend? Ours was absolutely, positively, lazy, and I couldn't be happier about it.
Well, not everyone was lazy. This little girl rolled from her belly to her back, twice, on Friday evening. Once to the left, and once to the right. We've got an ambi-turner my friends!
As for Doc and I, we enjoyed a little wine, a lot of football, and even more snuggling with our little miss. We welcomed a lazy weekend as we were both feeling the effects of lack of sleep from this past week, and it gave us some time to catch up on it a bit. Things are going to be really busy from now until just after Christmas, with family visits on the horizon, and I say the sooner the better. If my parents have to wait much longer to meet the little miss, they both might spontaneously combust!
And for some reason, despite the fact that I'm with her, by myself, the majority of the day, five days of the week, I still couldn't get enough snuggle time this weekend. You'd think I'd want a day off but no, Doc and I found ourselves both wanting to hold her and not wanting to give her up to the other one. Looks like neither of us can resist that little face.
(I'll try to remind myself of that come Wednesday afternoon when I'm counting down the hours before Doc comes home and provides some relief parenting..)
The expressions she makes crack me up, and I just can't help but wonder what is going on in that little head of hers.
 I hope she's ready for lots of hugs and kisses though, because my parents will be here this week with no shortage of either for their first grandchild!
A la prochaine friends...