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November 2006
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December 2006

We're off...

It's 11:37pm and Julien is asleep right now, try to catch a few zzz's before we get on the road to drive to Quiberon and then take the ferry to Belle Ile en Mer to see his grandmother.  This will be my first winter trip to the island.  Perhaps we'll be lucky and catch one of their magnificent winter tempete.  There will be knitting and crepe eating and maybe a little bowl of cider for this little pregnant lady. :)

We'll be back in a week or so... I hope that everyone's had a wonderful winter holiday.  May your days be filled with love, laughter and happiness.

Look!! It's a Clapotis and a rapidly disappearing belly button!!



So, maybe this is my nesting instict kicking in but I felt like making a pie tonight. Not nearly as bad as Riana's nesting kick. She made 24 dinners! But this urge for apple pie was plus fort que moi*! So here's is my tarte aux pommes pour la femme enceinte:

There's nothing better than baking an apple pie to make your house smell good!

I kind of threw this together following my mind's logic!  I love pies but I've found that pies in France are creamier and heavier and I just don't like them as much as my mom's homemade pies.  I did not make the crust.  I just didn't have the patience to do that tonight but had a couple Picard frozen pie crusts or påte brisées in the freezer that would work just fine. 


- 6 large pink lady apples (3 for making compote with, the other three to layer into the pie)
-  Cook down the apples to make a your compote sauce. Add sugar and spice as you like. I used my Penzey's apple pie spice.
-  1 påte brisée from Picard. Let it defrost while you are making the compote.
-  Layer compote and then sliced apples that have been tossed in sugar and spice.
- Bake at 200 degreed Celsius for 30 minutes.

Making a compote for the base of tarte avoids using cream or eggs for your tarte base as the French like to do. I was thinking about my thighs while making this pie. :)

Serve warm with a big glass of milk. It's better smelling than any Yankee candle and tastes pretty darn good.

* too strong to deny

Week 25, a week of changes.

Good Morning!

25 weeks

This week marks my 25th week of pregnancy! I can't believe it. This are starting to feel like they are going to go fast now.  Physically, I feel great. Though I've lost all gracefulness in all my movements. Putting my hands on my back feels good  when I walk and Julien calls me his little penguin now.  My hair is growing at an amazing pace! It was now or never to grow my hair out again. Though it probably won't be practical with a new baby to have long hair, I'm enjoying it for now. And I've noticed that I have a little duvet as my husband calls it on my stomach.  Peach fuzz.  The baby is moving more and more and I notice that he startles when there's a loud noise. And he really digs kicking my rib cage which I don't find very cool when I'm trying to sleep.  Sleeping has gotten a little better. I've added a couple more pillows to the bed/nest and try to meditate before heading off to sleep.  I've been having dreams about what the birthing experience will be like. A friend of mine gave me this amazing book called Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin.  I've been thinking about a natural birth. I want to try to experience everything to its fullest, if possible. After reading the birthing experiences of these women it really motivates me to give it a try.  I want this birth to be a spiritual and sensual experience for me. 

So, this has been a week of changes.  My body has drastically taken a new, even more bulbous shape which I love.  No changes in my relationship with Julien, it feels strong and happy like it usually does.  Our apt is starting to get organized. Our armoire was delivered yesterday and it's perfect! The baby's bedroom is cleaned and prepared to be put together.  I sat in the empty room contemplating this new life we're going to bring into this world.  How lucky we are to have all that we do.  How lucky I am to be surrounded by so much love.  I  breath in and savor every moment.  This is only the beginning...

This day

This day, my mother was born. December 17.  It's been a pretty, happy day. Because I've been thinking of her.  Missing her. Feeling her close to me. She came to me in my dreams last night. We spoke. I cried. She reassured me that all was well and she touched my stomach.  Julien said that last night after I fell asleep, the baby was moving around a lot. But I slept. Finally. When this day comes, I can't help think of the cycle of life and how amazing it all is. This day last year, my friend Sarah gave birth to her amazing son, Felix.  I'm so much more aware of the present and this life I live right now.  I'm learning to live life in the now. 

Happy Birthday, Omma.

Le monde a tellement de regrets
Tellement de chose qu'on promet
Une seule pour laquelle je suis fait
Je t'aimais, je t'aime et je t'aimerai
Quoi que tu fasses
L'amour est partout ou tu regardes
Dans les moindres recoins de l'espace
Dans le moindre reve ou tu t'attardes
L'amour comme s'il en peuvait
Nu sur les galets

-Francis Cabrel

A Special Proposition

Today, I got to meet one of my favorite bloggers, The Bold Soul.  We headed to the Marais so that I could introduce her to one of the best falafel places in Paris. I've been craving it and Lisa has never had it! I had to introduce her to the Parisian falafel.  We filled out tummies with their Falafel spécial and talked about being Americans abroad, speaking French and Paris in general.  It was nice to talk to someone who loves the city as much as I do. After lunch, we trekked off to W.H. Smith on the rue de Rivoli.  I was in search of a particular book and Lisa kept me company.  We continued out discussion on Paris and ended up talking about shoes.  A girl after my own heart, I tell ya!  We stopped in at Angelina's on the way to see about a reservation.  Lisa kindly asked if she could reserve when the Maitre D' came over to me and leaned in and motioned to my belly.  I was taken aback, unsure what was really going on since I was spacing off due to the intoxicating smells from their famous chocolates.  The brief exchange went something like this:

Maitre D' :  If you need a father (motions to my burgeoning belly), I am good with the cleaning and cooking... (twinkles his blue eyes at me)

Me (blushing): "Oh, that's ok I have someone."

Maitre D': "But,  I am French..."

Me: "Oh, I have a Frenchman at home. Thank you."

Matire D': "Well, if you change your mind, the offer stands..."

There are no end to the Frenchman's flirt, even if you're pregnant, they still dare to do it. :)

C'est du blah blah...

I've been having strange dreams lately. I always have had strange dreams growing up. But my dreams as of late have been very morbid. Often scaring me awake and then I'm unable to get to sleep again.  Either I'm dying or someone close to me. Things I need to work through, I'm sure.    Once I wake up in the middle of the night, it seems the baby wants to wake up too and we're up late together. It's rather comforting actually.  I'm also starting to find it hard to find a good position to sleep. My belly is really starting to get big and makes it awkward to lay down for long periods of time. This coming from someone who's been known to sleep for 15 hours a night on a weekend. It's a family pastime. Christmas morning is usually Christmas late afternoon for us.  Luckily, I married a man who likes to sleep as much as I do. How this will change when the baby is born!?  Though, we can hope that he sleeps through the night early... on verra! :)

Ho, hum... Just checking emails now, I received my 24 weeks baby bulletin from Baby Center. My baby is 12 inches long.  How in the heck is he folded up in there?  I wonder if his arms and legs go to sleep if he doesn't change positions often. Mine sure do. Cutest thing now is he wakes up every morning when Julien puts his hand on my belly. He knows the difference between mummy's and daddy's hands, I think.

We bought an armoire today.  A huge one. It's 2 meter 50 across and about 2 meters something tall.  HUGE. Julien wants to put it together himself. I'm really hoping I can talk him into letting someone come and do it.  It seems like a huge project to do alone. I won't be much help.  We'll see. The armoire arrives on Thursday!  Armoire is scheduled to be delivered Monday and they will assemble it for us! Whew!  Now we just have to work out the logistics of moving our room, the baby's room and the livingroom around to make everything fit. We are  finally going to have closet space in this closet-less apt we live in!

Oh, and thank goodness for friends who can't sleep either...

And finally, Julien and I have been fantasizing lately about what our baby will look like.   I've started a personal photography project that I'm calling Vintage Photography Project. Originale, non? ;) I'm collecting our baby photos and will make a photo montage for the baby's room.

Okay, I started this entry it was 2:39am and now it's 3:33am.  Time to try to sleep...   

"C'est du prélavage!"

Julien and I just finished a delicious meal of Saucisse de Montbeliard, Pommes de terres, Chou, Carrottes et Cancoillotte a l'ail.  A typical repas franc-comtois, perfect or a lazy Sunday afternoon.  We were discussing how the Cancoillotte, a sort of runny cheese that comes from the Franche Comté is no where as good here in Paris as it is in Beasancon, where I first had the unique cheese so many years ago.  I put the cheese back in the fridge, remembering the burst of flavor real Cancoillote has to return to the table to catch my husband licking his plate!

Me (bemused): I can't believe you're licking your plate!
Julien: C'est du prélavage*, ma cherie!

Even though the Cancoillotte in Paris isn't as good as it is in the Franche Comté, it's still good enough to lick off your plate selon mon mari**!

Cancoillotte Fromage

Here's an english Wikipedia description of Cancoillote.


**according to my husband

All is well...

I'm starting to feel much better now, the doctor didn't seem too worried I was sick. Thanks for all the suggestions!  My doctor suggested like many of you to drink flat coke and TUC crackers.  It seemed to have worked it's charm.  Now I'm congested but I think it's due to the unseasonably mild weather we are having. It's awfully humid yet cold outside, it just seems the cold sticks to your bones a lot easier when it's so humid.

We had our big second trimester check up yesterday. I've gained 7 kilos to date.  Which I'm pretty proud of because I gain weight by just looking at junk food.  The baby is growing at an amazing pace and the doctor says that he's above average in all categoriesHe is about 25cm long and from what we could tell with the 3d sonogram he has a little nose like me! And chubby cheeks. Not surprised considering his mama was called the incredible chunk growing up, I had cheeks that everyone wanted to squeeze. Okay, I still kind of do...  Starting this week as well, he's been a lot more active.  Mostly at night and he keeps me awake, the light sleeper I am.   I read that it's not uncommon that the babies are active the second part of the night.  He kicks so hard now that I can see it with the naked eye.  It's really a surreal experience. I would touch one side of my stomach and a few seconds later he's kick in the same spot.  We're working on his touch sensory already! He also has become very reactive to Julien's voice.  Julien talks to my belly every night before bed. He sings songs for the baby or tells him to rest so that mummy (as he calls me) can sleep.  I've never experienced anything so touching as to see my husband assume his role as father.

With the sleepless nights have come late night knitting and lot of soul searching.  I've been wondering about my mother and a few times this week in the few hours of sleep I am able to catch, I see her there. Once we were knitting together and once she was taking care of what I think was our baby. It was a baby boy that I had never seen before but seemed so familiar to me.  I'd awake comforted yet empty.  This new chapter in our lives that Julien and I are embarking on is what I believe is the next step for me in the healing process or grieving process.  I lost my mother at the time when she had taught me most of life's lessons such as right and wrong, unconditional love, being a good sister/person, being an adult and being a good wife and with her death, she's taught me how to live and survive the death of a loved one. Now that I am embarking on the next big stage in my life and becoming a mother, I must admit that feel scared.  But talking with my father he said that he and Omma were so scared too.   I believe that my role as mother will be directly influenced by the relationships I have with my husband and my other family members but it will also be affected by the love and loss I feel for my own mom's life and death.  This is the coming of full circle, it empowers me and has restored my hope.

It's been a long time since I've been able to see so clearly. Sure, I still have days when I cry because I'm sad but those are few and far between.  And I honestly feel okay about those sad moments.  And I use them as a way to reflect positively on my life and to look forward.

Three and half more months to go before our baby makes his grand entrance into this world.  With every kick and movement he makes my heart flutters (and heals) from all the excitement.      

Jet lag knitting

Couldn't sleep last night, jet lag is to blame. I made this during my winkless night:

Ballband dishcloth from Mason-Dixon Knitting

Ballband Dishcloth from Mason-Dixon Knitting

Yarn: Lily's Sugar n' Cream Cotton
Colors: Hot Blue and Summer Splash
Needles: 5mm straight needles
Time: Early this morning before the sunrise

Maybe this will motivate me to do the dishes more often! :) Also would make great washcloths for the baby. And christmas presents. and....

My first encounter with a Sage Femme

Since returning to France my arms have been a bit swollen and my fingers look like as my sister says Vienna sausages. Thanks for that visual, Erin.  My engagement ring doesn't fit any more and I'm wearing another ring in it's place. Last weekend, I was awoken by sharp pains in both of my arms that radiated from my biceps to my finger tips.  My hands were asleep and it felt like knives were being stabbed into my arms.  I was scared, I though I was having an attack or some sort.  I somehow fell asleep and in the morning it seemed to be a little better but not 100%. 

I went to the clinic today to chat with the sage femme about my concerns. She was delightfully nice and took good care of me. She hooked me up to a couple machines to check my blood pressure and to listen to the baby's heartbeat. He wasn't going to have any of that and spent the entire time kicking the sensor on my stomach and flipping around in my belly.  Apparently the baby was just fine.  My blood pressure was a little high but nothing to be alarmed about.  The sage femme talked to me for a few minutes and reassured me that everything was fine. She explained to me how my blood pressure can be affected by certain things and that she seen pregnant women with fingers and ankles more swollen than what I was dealing with.

It's never easy to express yourself fully in a foreign language and I've always felt a little uneasy visiting the doctor in fear that he will not complete understand me.  But there's something to be said about the communication a smile or a regard can make.  The sage femme was gentile and spoke softly. And she listened.   She was sage, indeed.

Sage femme = midwife or quite literally, wise woman.