Tuesday, 11 December 2007

It's a wrap!

I am sure I am not alone in that I am the sole wrapper in the household. Admittedly J would help (and he does wrap my presents!) but (a) he isn't very good at it, (b) he doesn't like doing it and (c) he is rarely here when the children aren't (and due to O's habit of suddenly getting up for no reason when not expected it is hard to do it at night!) So today's objective was to rap the rest of the gifts - and with a little bit of organisation I had it all done in 2 hours! Yay me!

And my handy tip for wrapping - wrap each child's gifts in the different paper (this year green snowflakes for O and Dora for F) which means no labels are required!

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Getting ready for Christmas!

The tree is up. The children decorated it on Friday. Our tradition is that we put the lights on, after that it is down to them. We don't mess with what they have done! This leads to a tree that while not perfect is certainly spectular because they have done it themselves. O has wonderful memories of being allowed to do the tree all on his own last year so I feel that it is a tradition well wroth keeping!

The fabric advent calendar is up - with two chocolate eggs in each pocket! O gets that it is just a once a day activity - F does not!!

The playmobil advent calander is all set up (25minutes my foot - it took me a good hour to unpack, make all the boxes, make the playmobile, put them in the right box and then put the boxes on the cardboard backing!) and the children have agreed to take it turns to open a box!

Other than that, I still haven't made my cards (oh dear!) but most of the shopping has been done! It certainly won't be long before Christmas is upon us!

Soup update!

Well so far this week we have had:
Carrot and coriander soup
Tomato and pasta soup
Curried parsnip soup
Dutch pea soup

As our scales are useless he hasn't weighed himself yet so no idea if it is actually working! He is trying to calorie count but I still see him nicking the odd biscuit!! He is out running at the moment - he has decided to try to do next year's marathon! Run J run!

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Soups and Cake!

J is on a diet. He went to see the doctor this week as he needed a new prescription for his asthma drugs. She commented that he could do with losing some weight. He isn't fat per se but he probably could do with losing a bit. He will never be a skinny minny - he hasn't got the frame for it! So he is calorie counting and trying to cut out all the sugary treats. I am doing my bit by making soups each night - we both like soups (shame I can't tempt the children - have tried on many occasions to no avail!), they are easy to make and fairly good on the calorie front (especially if I don't add cream!!). Tonight it is going to be a veggie and bean broth - no recipe just a bit of chuck in and see!

However I am also at the moment baking a spiced pear cake - I just felt like baking and am tired of always doing chocolate cakes - plus I had just bought a load of pears. It is in the oven as I speak and it smells lovely! J will just have to resist! Or hope that the children eat it quickly!!

Thursday, 22 November 2007


I have already mentioned that O's reading has come on so quickly - and daily I am staggered by how much he has progressed. Over the weekend he actually read a book (albeit it a very short one!) and tonight he went through his homework so quickly - it seems to becoming more and more instinctive! I am so proud of him - he works so hard at school. He was so chuffed tonight as he got a reply to his letter to father cristmas. It was just a pre-printed standard thingy but he was happy!

I have just ordered him an elf costume - last year he got a Santa costume which I wrapped in brown paper, addressed and put it in our mail box. When he found it he was so amazed. i figure this could be his last year believing so I am gong all out to make it special! I have also ordered F an angel costume so she isn't left out. I just home they arrive in time - we have sent them to a colleague of J's who lives in the UK and he will bring them over (he is here every week!)

I also went out and bought crackers today - Trauffault the garden centre sells them. Christmas isn't Christmas without them!

Monday, 12 November 2007


O is a demon jigsaw puzzler - has been since he was about 18m old. He seems to have an eye for the right shape. F, on the other hand, had never seemed bothered. She was always more interested in throwing the jigsaw pieces all over the play. Until last week that is! For her birthday she got three Dora puzzles. Have I ever said how obsessed she is by Dora. The really funny thing is though that she is not that bothered about watching her! Anyway - to get back to the point - suddenly she is doing these 20 piece puzzles on her own with ease! Me thinks I need to try to find one that is a bit more challenging while she is enjoying doing them!

Completely off subject too I have to say how blown away we were by F's work book from school - in a short 2 months she is coming on in leaps and bounds. Not bad for a little girl who went into petite section with very little French!

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Letter to father Christmas

Christmas has to be O's favourite time of the year - he just loves all aspects of it - from the reason why there is Christmas to the decorations to the gift giving and receiving and best of all - to Father Christmas.

J and I figure this may be the last year he actually believes in F.C. Last night he decided that he really did have to write his letter to father christmas. The list thankfully was not that long! He is actually not very materialistic and would be happy with whatever he received! I addressed the envelope to:

Pere Noel
Le Pole Nord

and we took it to the post office this morning! I had no idea of what the system is here (you would have thought I would know after 10 years!) The guy behind the desk took it from O and just stanped it - no money was exchanged! Hopefully a reply will be forthcoming - O would just be so excited!

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Back to my roots!

Well my baking roots that is! I have hardly done any baking recently - with the return to work taking up much of my time I just haven't felt like it much! However this weekend I have no choice - I have to bake! First off on Saturday will be my Fridge Brownies - we are off to a Bonfire party and apparently the brownies have been requested by lots of people!

Sunday it is F's birthday party - there are five of her little shool friends plus two other friends who are coming. on the baking menu is a chocolate fudge cake (decorated with smarties - what else!), my mars bar cake (not sure if that really counts as baking) and some cookies (not yet decided what type!) Monday is her actual birthday - I am ever hopeful that my MIL who is looking after the two children on monday as we are both working will make one! Then on Tuesday I need to make a big enough cake for 27 children for her school party on Wednesday when they go back to school! I have booked a massage (a birthday present from J) on Wednesday morning - I might need it!

Friday, 26 October 2007

Lice, that's nice

Now don't start itching!

F has had her first dose - I had washed her hair and noticed an insect in there. I called J who looked at it, got his insect book and decided it was a nasty louse. We checked and couldn't find any more, but still washed all our hairs in the lice shampoo, changed all the beds, put all the towels through the wash and every night since I have been nit combing their hair - so far nothing found - fingers crossed!

My sister swears by tea tree oil as a means of keeping them away - so I have been dabbing it on their necks each morning. I just hope that all the other parents at school treat their children over the toussaint break so that we don't have to go through all the palaver again!

Sunday, 21 October 2007

A Rant

Those of you who know me know that I don't publically rant very often (J will say otherwise!!) But yesterday I was so annoyed that when poor J walked in the door after having been out all afternoon doing his stint at scouts I almost bit his poor head off. What was it that caused this unusual (really) burst? it was our neighbours. Actually when I say neighbours thay are actually market gardeners who have greenhouses on the land adjoining our house. First I have to say that local byelaws make it illegal to have a bonfire - unfortunately it seems that many of the local market gardeners (there are a lot round here owing to the good soil quality)totally ignore this ban. yesterday morning I did several loads of washing to clear the backlog. I hung it out to dry to take advantage of tis good weather. They lit a blinking bonfire - the wind took the billows of smoke right in the direction of my washing. It stank. I have had to wash it all again today and because the bonfire is STILL going dry it all in the dryer.


PS I hate doing the washing - which is why this has bugged me so much!

I forgot to say...

It is October- mid October (yes I know that you know that!!) On Wednesday we went into the pool - the outside pool! Granted, it has an "abri" ( a dome like cover) but we even pushed that back and swam in it for a good hour. O was thrilled. I admit it was a little cold at the start but we soon warmed up!

The weather has been amazing this month - while it is cold at night during the day we are getting t-shirt weather! Bliss!

Saturday, 13 October 2007

He can read!

Children in France start learning to read in CP - which they start in the September of the year they are six! O has really been picking up the sounds they have been doing (which has been hard for me as of course they are completely different that those in English!) and yesterday he had to do some reading for his homeowrk - and he read a whole sentence! It really is incredible to see him sounding out the words!

Well done my little man!

Friday, 12 October 2007

What a nice surprise!

It has been an incredibly busy week.J has been away virtually all week, my timetable for teaching was 6 h each day I worked, on my one day off (well child free day off!) I went skating with O's class and then in the afternoon I had to go to an induction meeting at work and then on Wednesday the children didn't have school. Add into that a blocked nose for F which meant she didn't sleep that well (she sucks her fingers so she can't breathe through her nose!) and you can imagine that I feel worn out!

So it was such a lovely surprise to come out of my class this morning to be told that my afternoon class has been cancelled - though I still get paid! Bliss - a quiet afternoon at home!

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Almost payday!

After six years with no payday, next week should see an small increase in our bank account THANKS TO ME!!! Woohoo!! It isn't much but it makes me feel happy to have contributed to the household finances. Work is going well - I think! I have five regular classes each week (12h of teaching) plus if there are any intensives then I may get additional hours too. While it doesn't sound much, with preparation time it is enough! The main thing is that I am enjoying it - even this week when I have been sick!

Talking of being sick, J took F back to the doctors today. despite the antibiotics her cough wasn't sounding any better - if anything it sounded worse. We were right to go - it has gone onto her chest. She has stronger antibiotics plus she is back on he becotide/ventoline route. On a plus note, she has a little friend in her class - Bertille (a girl - just in case you are wondering!!) I think finally she is enjoying school!

O had his first swim class today - he was, as usual, apprehensive beforehand but came out saying it was fantastic! I just hope that this is the push he needs to get him swimming properly and confidently. With a pool at home he should already be but J and i find it impossible to teach him and he gets lazy on us - though with others he will do so much more!

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

It is the little things!

This morning I don't feel wonderful. I saw the doctor last night and I have bronchitus. Thankfully I am not working again until Thursday so I can put my feet up today and just relax!

After dropping the children off at school I went to the pharmacy to pick up my antibiotics and on the way back home, while waiting at the roundabout, a bus carrying O went past! He saw me and his grin was a sight to behold! Made my day! And why was he on a bus? His class has 8 weekly ice skating classes and today is the first class. He was so excited today!

Not to be left out, F also has a trip today - to a vineyard (start them young!!)to pick grapes!

Saturday, 22 September 2007

The rentree bug

Usually it is the children who come down with a bug at the start of term - this time it is me! They have been coughing a little but nothing that bad that they have been complaining. Me, on the other hand, seems to have caught the flu. I should say that I am the ox in this family. All around me can be sick and I will be fine. This time my defences must be low as whatever I have has knocked me for six. I have just about managed to work bu today after a rough night (where I even decamped to the very uncomfortable spare bed)I have taken not one but TWO naps! Once this morning after encouraging O to watch TV (F was at gym with J) and then once F went for her nap (the boys have gone to an adventure park for the afternoon - we had tickets for it that needed to be used this weekend) I had another two hour nap - unheard of for me. I still feel completely wiped out and have resorted to letting F watch Dora!

Here's hoping that whatever is in my system is out of it soon. I hate feeling sick (and I am so not a good patient!) And fingers crossed that the children (or even worse J!!) don't get it!

Monday, 17 September 2007

Into the groove

It is hard this work thing! Well not so much just the work but the juggling that goes on all around. I know I am not saying anything new and I am in a lucky position to live in a place that has a good pre-school care system and a husband who does a lot. Even so, I am tired!

F was up last night - not something that happens often but she needed a cuddle. Then this morning was the usual running around to get two children and one Mum out of the house to school. F at least did not start crying until we actually went INTO the garderie at school which is an improvement on last week! Then I rush down to near the Cite d'espace for the first lesson of the day. How I love seeing the rocket - silly really but it always signifies to me a world far outside of anything I can imagine! Then after that a dash into the office to get ready for the next group. It was so close this afternoon too but opening the windows isn't really an option as the office is near to the end of the runway! After that lesson i dashed home, got drenched getting the washing in and then out again o a meeting at school where I learnt a bit more about O will be doing this year. Poor lad is going to have to endure English lessons - though they did assure me they put him in the best group. I think the teacher will have to be creative to keep him involved as otherwise it is going to be so very very boring for him. he is also starting ice skating next week which he is so excited about! F had a better day - so we are slowly getting there with her!

Came home, had dinner and then the children had a quick bath. O then had homework - his writing has come on so much! He writes all joined up so easily!

Now thankfully they are fast asleep and I am relaxing for the first time! It is fun though - and not so far until pay day!!!

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Back to school - and work!

What a week!

First event was "la rentree" on Tuesday. Both children started at a new school - it is the local private Catholic school. We chose this school rather than the public one mainly because both children were on the same site and they understood the Montessori method - O was in a Montessori maternelle.

O was so excited - he is so keen to learn to read and write properly. He literally ran into school! Poor lad though was at the back of the class due to the children going in alphabetically - and we are at the end of the alphabet! Apparently O was struggling to understand (I think he panicked a little as his French is superb) but the teacher had the forethought to move him forward and since then he has been great!

F didn't cry either - on the first day but did yesterday and today! It is a big transition for her - full days every day and all in French! She did come home on day one with "I need a caca"!! I think once we leave she is fine!

Today was my big day too - back to work. I think it went well (well they haven't complained yet!) - I did let it slip I was my first day back at work so they may be giving me a sympathy vote!! J got the children to school OK - but we do need to work out how to use the garderie - it won't be every day and certainly should never be both morning and afternoon but we do need to get it sorted!

It is nice to be back at work - and feeling that I am contributing to the household finances! Not that J has ever been bothered by the fact that he was the sole contributor to the coffers but it did bother me! Roll on the first pay day!

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Back to work

I have been a SAHM for six years now - virtually since O was born. For me there was no other choice - particularly as in Germany (where O was born)childcare was non-existant! F starts full time school next week and I knew that once that happened I would want to return to work. I just didn't expect it to happen quite so quickly!

Through a series of coincidences I have found myself gainfully employed as a English language trainer (which is what I did before the children were born (well since moving abroad that is!!). I will only be working three days a week which is just what I wanted. I will always have Wednesdays off (half day at school here) and one other day which will change. I DO still need to talk money with them (J thinks I should have already - I hate that bit though!!) but an ex-colleague of mine who works there said they paid more than where we both worked before - so hopefully it will be within my expectations!

I am nervous - it is a big step and to be honest it probably would have been better had it happened a month later so I could settle the children in school but it is a great opportunity to get back to work doing something I enjoy with a company that seems to be very flexible.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Clearing out

J is on the third week of his holidays and we haven't been away. But we have been making good use of the time to have a good clear out - neither of us like clutter. J's pet peeve is when his garage (note I say "his" - it is very much his part of the house - just like the kitchen is mine!) is in a mess. We are very lucky to have a double garage with lots of extra room but with two cars that we always park in there each night, the sit on mower, six bikes, several lots of shelving and all the old baby paraphalnilia something had to give!

By chance we discovered a shop that buys your unwanted errrr treasures! So we managed to offload the bulky old baby stuff (highchair, travel cot, rucksack, etc) and actually get money from it! Not that much but as we would have been happy enough to give it away if we actually knew anyone who was pregnant and didn't already have all the gear we were quite happy! We were planning to go out and have lunch with the proceeds as O is at daycamp and F is at my ILs for the day - but I seem to have got a stomach virus (or I have eaten something dodgy) and so didn't feel up to it (I do now after a good clearout!!!)

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Party Bags

I HATE party bags! I really really hate them. However I also love my son far more and party bags were an essential party of his birthday celebrations today! Me being me though decided that I could not possibly give them in those horrible plastic bags that are the only option here (and believe me I have searched for an alternative!) So I made them - sixteen green paper bags with a very furry handle. It took me about 4 hours and a lot of swearing! Then the next dilemma - what to put in them. I hate the high E numbered sweets that seem to be compulsory and all those little bits of plastic junk and instead ended up with some chocolate and a playdoh dome (on special offer!)

Were they appreciated - oh yes! Would they still have been equally appreciated if they had been plastic bags full of E numbers and junk - sadly probably!

Wednesday, 22 August 2007


This has to be one of both my children's favourite foods - it is just such a shame that they both don't like them "cooked" the same way - indeed both refuse to eat the other "form"! O is a felafal boy - just loves them stuffed in a pitta with ketchup! F, on the other hand, will have the pitta but with "houhou" - or houmous to the rest of us! I have tried to get them both to accept that they are just the same but they look different but so far I am having no luck!

I see a joint cookery lesson coming up but knowing my two even that won't encourage them to eat the other!!

Friday, 17 August 2007


O doesn't really care what he wears - as long as it is comfy then he is set. The only time he probably does care is when he is off to a party and then he absolutely MUST wear one of his shirts.

F, on the other hand, is a completely different kettle of fish! I don't know if it is a girl thing or just her but she has set ideas already at the age of two and three quarters of what looks good - and what doesn't! Of course, that doesn't always meet with Mummy's view of fashion! Today we went shopping and she insisted on picking out her own choice of clothes for going back to school - this included a bikini! Ever since she discovered one in her drawer last week she has been insistent on wearing it all the time (we, on the other hand, insist that she can only wear it when we are going in the pool - this has led to her wanting to go in the pool a lot more!) The funniest thing though is that each times she puts it on (and now she is so happy that she has a choice!!) she runs to the mirror and stands preening - it is so cute to see! Having said that, I dread to think what she will be like when she becomes a teenager!

Monday, 13 August 2007

Back ...

wow - that was a bit of a break wasn't it! But as I read more blogs I figured that I ought to be better at keeping it up - and actually reading it back was very interesting (well for me anyway!)

So little has changed except that O is now 6 and F is almost three! I am still a SAHM but I am hoping that once F starts school full time in September I will be able to find some part time work. I have a few fingers ina few pies so we will see if anything comes from any of them!

This post is just a "well I am back" one - I hope that somehow people do start to read it (I guess that one I get more regular about it I should start linking to it on my many online forums that I participate in!)

Thanks for reading and do check in again!!!