Wish I was there . .
My passport is ready and I can be packed in minutes.

25 June 2006

oh la la la

I should preface this post by saying that I have had half a bottle of wine so excuse the misspellings and incomplete sentences. (yes, it is a sad commentary on my life that half a bottle of wine should have such an effect but ce ma vie!)

Nice rainy day in Paris. We celebrate my niece's one year birthday. Although the rest of the family who were present were French speaking, they were very kind to us and made a great effort to include us. Our understanding of the language is much better than our ability to speak so we were able to follow most of the conversation. My niece loved being the center of attention and rewarded our bilingual encouragement by stuffing a large piece of cake into her mouth and then throwing the crumbs all over the floor.

PerfectHusband and I also ventured to a market and were able to communicate well enough to purchase wine (which I have consumed), chicken, vegetables for a salad, bread, and strawberries. Other than a slight mix up about the amount of strawberries, we ended up with what we thought we were saying!

We spent the afternoon wandering in the d'Orsay. Although crowded, it was a lovely way to spend a rainy day. Besides the beautiful artwork, it was fun to stand on the top floor, overlooking the large clock, and watch the people. After, we meandered back to "our" apartment warmed the chicken and bread, pulled out some good cheese, and made a large salad. It was a wonderful day and I am feeling a little less overwhelmed by this city. I have lived in Boston and D.C. but in reality I am more comfortable in a smaller city. I am enjoying Paris, but I am looking forward to leaving for Gerardmer on Tuesday.

24 June 2006

Les adventures des vacances

After a quick stop in Montreal, we arrived in Paris yesterday morning. Brother in law (BIL) met us at the airport to lead us to our vacation rental two doors down from his apartment in the First Arrondissement. In the past thirty-six hours, we have been to the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triumphe, Notre Dame, Shakespeare and Company, Jardin du Carrousel, Jardin des Tuileries, walked the Ile de la Cite, rented bikes and rode them through Friday night rush hour traffic, and walked the Seine.

BIL is the tour guide from hell. BIL has lived in Paris for the past ten years with his French wife and their young daughter. I am very happy to see them, but BIL believes it is his personal responsibility to 1) make sure we do not fall prey to any scam and/or thievery and 2) indoctrinate us into the understanding that all things French are the best. I am sick of hearing how the water, soda, apples, buildings, milk, clothing, cars, children, etc, etc are all better in France. Additionally, I am sick of being run ragged looking at random buildings were Moliere lived, Cezanne died, and Monet shit. Finally, I am sick of being told how to hold my camera, where to put my money, how to walk, and what shoes to wear. PerfectHusband and I were going to take a break from all this family togetherness and go to dinner alone, but BIL believed it necessary to lead us to a restaurant and interpret the menu for us (even I know the basics of poulet, bouef, fromage, and the various vegetables and herbs). While we are certainly enjoying Paris, it would be nice to discover it without constantly being told that it is all superior to any place else. I find it difficult to resist the urge to remind BIL that not only was he born in the old USA but he was born in the State that is known for a giant mouse.

One last complaint has nothing to do with BIL. Today, in Notre Dame I witness flagrant disregard for a church and it truly pissed me off. Even though it clearly stated no photos, flashes continued to go off. People disregarded the barriers, lifting them to allow themselves and their uncontrollable children to sit and touch items that they certainly have no business touching. People were loud and obnoxious on cell phones. I'm talking about all people - not just the English speaking. I'm no religion freak but I also think that when a church invites you to enter you should treat it with respect. It made me angry to think about the fact that if people were so disrespectful in a church, then the rest of the world in certainly in deep merde.

So, now the pictures and then I'm going to bed so I can keep up with another day of BIL touring.

Tried to post pictures but computer failing - off to bed!

18 June 2006

Missing Hexe

Today is Father’s Day and for the first time I am not with my wife and children. Hexe, I miss you and the kids more than I ever imagined. Thank you for your post below. It was a great way to end the day.

I know that our lives are not always easy, but I truly want to thank you for all that you do for me and the kids. You are ALWAYS taking care of us – no matter what comes along and no matter how hard it may be for you. Your love has helped me to be the father that I wish I had when I was growing up.

I know that this week apart has been hard on you. You are alone taking care of our children, with no help from me – or your family. You have no air conditioning, have had little to no sleep, and your family has been driving you mad. You are exhausted, stressed, and worn out. You have not had a break – and you deserve one. I will be there soon and I cannot wait for our trip to France.

The love you have shown me and the children is love with such passion that I could never have known it in my wildest dreams. I am proud of you. I don’t say it enough. Perfect, I am not. But I cannot imagine my life without you.

As each hour passes until we are together again, you will be in my thoughts, in my dreams, and in my heart. Thank you for taking that chance with me nearly eight years ago. You have made me a better man, a better father, and better husband (who is far from perfect).

We will always have Paris. And thanks to your hard work and sacrifice, we will soon leave this god-forsaken-state and start the next chapter of our lives together.

I love you!

Happy Father's Day PerfectHusband

PH - Happy Father's Day! Four and half years ago you gave me the first of my most precious gifts and life has never been the same. Two years later and our family was complete. Thank you for being a wonderful father and wonderful husband. Enjoy your quiet time and we can't wait for you to arrive. Love me XOXOXO

Daddy - I love you even though you are at home. I love it when you play with me. I can't wait for you to get here and then Grammie and Grampa will come home too. Happy Father's Day. Love KK

Daddy - I like it when you swim with me. Happy Fathers Day! Love Hew

17 June 2006

Houston, we have lift-off . . .

For unknown reasons, my parent's computer has finally decided to work. YEAH!!! This should be the part where I post lovely pictures, yet the camera lens has become stuck and camera will not work even though I have read and followed all directions in the manual. If it's not one thing, it's another!

Even without camera, all has gone relatively smooth. The plane rides went very well. People were very kind and the kids were GREAT. Yes, KK did have a little vomiting incident, but as the mean flight attendant had refused my request for an extra vomit bag, I didn't feel at all bad when KK vomited in the plane as we were getting off. It was pure karma to the grouchy flight attendant.

We had a nice visit with Giant Nephew. For an only child, he adapted pretty well to the chaos of having two hyperactive children running around him non-stop. He does have to be fed every two hours (no, I am not kidding!), but once I figured that out, it was smooth sailing.

Tomorrow we are off to Aunt M's camp for some swimming and possible jet ski rides. Will try to use parent's camera to take photos and if all goes well (fingers crossed) I may actually have photos for tomorrow. Signing off now to read all the blogs I have been missing - yes, I am officially addicted.

15 June 2006

You cannot get here from there

I have been asked to attempt a post. Here goes nothing:

Hexe has access to a computer, but that computer doesn't have access to the rest of the world. I'll be heading up north on Tuesday. If all goes well, then Hexe will be back blogging Tuesday night. Until then, you get me... PH

When Hexe arrived at her mother's home on Wednesday she learned that her brother is moving to a new home and Grandmother had volunteered to watch Hexe's giant nephew for the next two days. (Giant Nephew is not even one year old, but he is bigger than our two year old son, Hew). Of course, Grandmother had to leave before first light this morning to "visit a friend" who was being buried. I don't know why she cannot say the F-word (funeral), but that is where she told KK and Hew that she was going.

So, Grandmother heads out to "visit" her friend at 5:00 AM. Of course, Giant Nephew wakes up screaming for a new diaper and the first of his 10 meals for the day. Hexe crawls out of bed to his crib and tries to silence the screaming, but unfortunately Hew and KK get up and join the chorus. After 3 bananas and endless bowls of raisin bran Giant Nephew is finally silenced.

Hexe tries to take a nap, but her "Aunt M" stops by unannounced for a visit with the kids.

When "Aunt M" finally leaves Hexe tries once again to nap, but then Great Grandmother and Great Grandfather come by for a visit with the Kids.

I cannot imagine why, but Hexe tries to nap for a third time, but this time "Aunt N" comes by.

Hexe then leaves the kids with "Aunt N" and goes for a walk in the woods. (She did come back.)

I miss the screaming. The silence back here in Florida is deafening.

13 June 2006

Takin' the long way around

. . . It can get pretty lonely when you show yourself.
Guess I could have made it easier on myself
But I - I could never follow
No, I - I could never follow
Well, I never seem to do it like anybody else . . .
Takin' the long way around.

-The Long Way Around
Dixie Chicks

As a kid, my mother used to say that I always took "the long way around" because I was so stubborn and independent. Sometimes, I think that is my theme to life. When I called my mom to say we'd be a day later due to the cancelled flight, she just laughed. We have a flying curse - our flights have been delayed, cancelled, and rerouted. Two years ago at Christmas, we were stranded in D.C. and were told that it would be THREE DAYS before we could get a flight to anywhere in Florida. We drove back - renting a car and two car seats for Hew (then age 9 months) and KK (then age 2) - 17 hours. In the past, I have sworn that I will not fly again, but my resolve doesn't last a week. Plus, now I'm just happy to arrive and return in one piece.

So tomorrow, I'll try again - takin' the freakin' long way around.

No, I'm not kidding . . .

Flight cancelled due to mechanical problem. Try again tomorrow.

12 June 2006

V A C A T I O N in the summer sun . . . .

My computer's hard drive has died. Thankfully, I am leaving in the morning for my parents' home where I will at least have dial-up access. Am dreading solo flight with KK and Hew - I am hoping for a miracle where both children sleep through two flights (hahahahahahahahaha!!!!). I just have to get there and then the fun begins! Hopefully I'll have some photos to share soon!

09 June 2006

I'm an Idiot . . .

The unthinkable happened last night - our home computer died (I am currently on PerfectHusband's work laptop). PH has already called his computer guru who believes it to be a possible virus as well as a hardware problem(?) - who knows? Normally, this would not be a problem - I'm going out of town for awhile anyways, BUT all our plane reservation confirmation numbers, car rental confirmation number, and all the information I have gathered for Paris and Gerardmer (except for a lot of wonderful information sent from Jen) is stuck in the computer!!! I know, I am an idiot. I should have printed it out months ago. I understand it is all recoverable (at least that what's the guru says), but the issue is time - will we get it back before Tuesday morning when I fly out or will I be spending my weekend calling airlines and the car rental company to get confirmation numbers, as well as frantically trying to recreate the information I already had? Why didn't I print the plane reservations or car rental reservation when I made them? Why didn't I print the information I'd found on Gerardmer and Paris? Because I am an idiot!

08 June 2006

Welcome to the Sunshine State - Would you like some possum?

I know that I have a bias against Florida but the following story came from a brother-in-law who lives a few hours from us here in the Sunshine State. BIL owns a coffee shop/cafe and this is a recount of an e-mail we received yesterday:

Yesterday, a lovely group of "locals" came in for lunch. "Momma" who couldn't read, was a little blind and a little deaf had one of her offspring (or in this case "ahfspraang") read the choices to her. (side note: The first item in the Taco portion of the menu is "Rockem sockem Tacos. Its what we call the ground beef taco.) Momma stopped a server, who was passing by observing the exchange, and asked if the rockin possum tacos were real possum or just 'coon. Resisting the overwhelming urge to explain the great lengths we go to provide the finest ground possum for our tacos, the server managed to keep a straight face and tell her that they were ground beef tacos. The woman was truly disappointed and "ardered" the chicken.

This is what you find once you leave the Disney grounds - do I need to say more?

07 June 2006

I'm leaving on a jetplane . . .

Six day until lift off. Packing has begun. The hunt for the perfect small toys that will entertain Hew and KK for the six hour trip is underway. Six days and I will finally get to leave this oppressive hot weather!!!

Once at my parents house, I will have a week of single parenthood as PerfectHusband will not join us until next week. Once he arrives, I will hand the kids off to my parents, and he and I will leave for France.

I am always a little nervous leaving the kids. It's not that I don't trust my family with them - Grandma and Grampa will spoil them rotten will ice cream, cookies, chips, and various other junk that are generally lacking from their daily diet. My sister and her children will arrive so that there will be playmates. They will have a great time.

I think it's the potential death thing that makes me nervous. Before we ever leave the kids, we reread and if necessary, revise our will. Not only that, but we do a medical authorization form for my parents and sister in the event that the kids get hurt. Just call us anal. Before having kids, I would board a plane on a whim - no thoughts of death and serious bodily injury. Now I have to contemplate who should raise my children in the event of my death and PerfectHusband's death. It does tend to put a little damper on the vacation travel.

But even with the thought of wills, medical authorization, and flying alone with two children under five, there is still that excitement. I love to travel - to see new places, to mispronounce words in a different language, to explore, to walk aimlessly, to eat new food and drink some wine, to see a small part of life in a different place. Six days . . . .

05 June 2006

Another Exciting Weekend

The highlight of this past weekend was yesterday when we lost power for an hour. Right as I went to cook dinner, the lights flashed and died. PerfectHusband nearly had a coronary as he was working on the computer on his big project that will be presented this week. Luckily nothing was lost. As we cooked dinner on the grill, the inside temperature climbed above 80. Immediately my irritation gauge went to high and it seems to have carried over to this morning.

Lately I am am in holding pattern. I am waiting for my new job to begin. I am waiting to leave for vacation (hurray!). All this waiting makes it difficult for me to enjoy now. I feel like I get less done now when I have more time than I did when I was working. Enough whining . . . will write when less irritable.

02 June 2006

Please excuse me while I rant momentarily . . .

Many years ago, before children, PerfectHusband and I moved into our current home. At the time I was not welcomed with open arms by many of the women in the neighborhood because
1. I had no children, and
2. I worked.
The majority of my female neighbors are stay at home moms. I have no problem with stay-at-home moms - they are great, but as I have previously mentioned, even after kids, I still went back to work part time. So sue me - it's what works for me. You do what's right for your family - not any of my business.

Anyways, it seems that I am now the anti-christ of the neighborhood because I mow the yard. Yes, that's right - I mow the yard . . and not only that . . .I like it! Most of the neighbors have a lawn service, but we have a riding lawn mower. The kids take turns riding with me or they play where I can see them as I do this. Apparently, this activity is considered THE MAN'S job because I have received snide little digs about this. Today, two female neighbors drove right by and just glared at me as I waved from the mower.

God, imagine their reactions if they knew I use the table saw and the belt sander. . . I'd probably be run from the neighborhood.


Hew has reached another milestone today. Finally, this morning we said a sad farewell to the crib. For the past couple weeks, Hew has been fluctuating between the crib and his “big boy bed” (formerly know as the guest bed). This morning when I asked if it was time to put the crib away and Hew agreed. I think it had more to do with me letting him bang with his hammer while I disassembled the crib. Plus at one point the side came loose and crashed down causing Hew to delightedly repeat on the phone to PerfectHusband “Momma, crib, BIG CRASH!!!”

Here it is before the BIG CRASH . . .

and then after the BIG CRASH!


I was actually a little sad to see the crib go as Hew is our last (we hope!). But, I don't think I'll shed a tear once we get him out of diapers.

Congrats my big boy!