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November 2007
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December 2007

When Mama goes on vacation...

the most unbelievable things can happen.

It has been a very hard 4 days for me.  First of all, traveling alone with Max who is nearly 9 months old was very hard. My fears of the stroller being checked against my will should have been the least of my fears. Who would have thought that my son would have gotten his two top k9 the day we were leaving? Who would have thought that he would have refused to nurse during take off and landing during our leg from Paris to Detroit and Detroit to Kansas City and he screamed louder than I've ever heard him scream? Who would have thought that Max would have refused to sleep the entire time we were in the air except for the 40 minutes they served dinner. At least I got to eat something.

Then while we were on the flight from Paris to Detroit I noticed some red patches that had appeared on Max's face.  I wasn't worried since I knew he was teething and that sometimes his drool causes him to have  rash on his face.  I was rubbing his legs while trying to get him to relax and I felt that he had the same patches on his legs.  I took him to the bathroom to change his diaper and looked at his belly and saw the same red patches. I took off all his clothes and saw that he was covered in these red, bumpy patches. Red, bumpy patches that look a lot like the chicken pox.

Like I said, worrying about my stroller getting checked should have been the least of my worries.

Four days later, the bumps are still there. A bit more bigger. A bit more scabby. Max is crabby. Clingy. Lethargic. We have a visit to the doctor scheduled for tomorrow.

So, when mama goes on vacation.... (you fill in the blank).

An interruption to the packing saga...

I've submitted a photo to JPG magazine for their Emotion Captured photo contest. The photo I submitted is a photo of my father-in-law, Maximilien and Julien.  Both Julien and his father were talking about Maximilien and I happened to look down and see my father-in-law gently touching Max's toes and my husband's hands resting peacefully which shows, in my eyes, his perfect ease in becoming a father. And of course the playful manner that Max is playing with his foot. The more I look at this photo the more I am drawn in.

Anyway, if you feel moved by this photo and wouldn't mind, please take a moment and click the photo below and vote for me. Voting will be open until December 13th.  If I win, I will be published in the next issue of JPG magazine. How cool would that be?!

Okay... back to last minute packing....


Why do I not have superhero powers?

It's been quiet on the blogging front chez PutYourFlareOn.  And this post is boring so it won't make up for the silence.  I've been busy preparing for our month long trip to the US.  I'm learning that I should have started packing a week ago not just two days ago. I need more time! I am trying to pack lightly but with a nearly nine month old in tow that is impossible. A weeks worth of clothes for Maximilien and a few days worth for me. Just enough diapers to get across the big pond to the US and a few extras just in case we get stuck. Double, triple checked with Northwest about gate checking my stroller. Advice given to me by the airline: Insist. Sounds promising, huh?  And I am wondering all the while how I do this leg of travel alone with my baby. Julien must stay in France for 10 more days to finish end of year projects and will join us right before Christmas. I have purchased a couple new toys to surprise Max with on the plane in case of the massive crankies. I have snacks and food prepared. His dou dou of the moment. And the ever present Sophie for him to chew on. I don't know how I will carry it all. And then I worry about getting on the plane and how Max will react. The last time we flew to the US he was just 2 months old. He slept the entire time. Now he's Mr. I-gotta-touch-everything-and-crawl-all-over-the-place.  I'm not even packing in my carryon my iPod, knitting or reading material. And I hope that my neighbors on the plane are fond of babies.

And let's not mention the apartment. The disaster area it is. Oh man. Pack and then clean. And eat dinner sometime. And fold the laundry that has been piling up in the living. And then maybe sleep.

Aside from the million things on my to-do list all I think about is how excited I am to get home and introduce Max to where I grew up and just hang out in Kansas for a while and do nothing. And have lots of hands to help me with Max so I can sit down and knit something or finish one of the many unfinished novels on my bed stand.  It will also be really fun to see friends (Hi Laine!) who have had babies recently and introduce our babes to one another.

I have made my life in France. I don't regret my decision.  But I do miss my family and my friends back in the US. In a perfect world, I would be able to bring all my friends and family with me and we'd all live on the same street here in Paris. Not sure if they'd all like that or not though I know a few wouldn't mind (Hi, Matt!) No, better yet, in my perfect world I'd have super powers and I would be able to teleport myself with the snap of my fingers.  Heh.

Better get back to packing. Can I pack 50 lbs of travel necessities + gifts into one suitcase?  Good thing my husband's superhero powers are to pack a million things into small spaces.

'Tis the season

I've eaten five clementines today...

The clementine is my favorite winter fruit. Come to think of it, I believe it is my all time favorite fruit.  I eat several everyday. And there are exceptional days where I eat like ten. Today, I've had five. This time last year, I was eating easily 3 kilos of Clementine a week. I was pregnant with Maximilien. This was the only thing I really craved during my entire pregnancy. You'd think that Max would have come out orange after all the clementines I ate. Max ate half of one today. After finishing each slice he'd make a face like this and smack his lips and open his mouth for another piece. There's something satisfying about smacking your lips after you eat a particularly succulent clementine.  Try it sometime.

I have crazy ideas sometimes.

Hacking the carrot

Not the best photo taken but I was cooking dinner, washing dishes and trying to keep my very active, attention needy son busy.  He's been biting into everything lately, including me so I had to find something that would ease his teething pains and that he would not get bored with.

I hacked this carrot using a pacifier ring. Attached it  to his shirt et voila! I got 20 minutes of quiet time from Maximlien so that I could finish dinner and well relax.

It's pretty self explanatory how it works: Big, fat carrot + Pacifier ring = Mama not going crazy from picking up carrot off the floor every 5 seconds. Give it a try... ;)