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November 2009

30 of 30 - The Belly

30 of 30 - last belly shot 30 of 30 - last belly shot 2 

Well, there you have it! The Belly. I just measured it and it's at 49 inches. Two weeks before delivering Maximilien I was at 49 inches. So, perhaps BB will be a bit smaller than Max but still she's going to be a BIG girl. I'm packed and ready to go. I'm just sitting here busying myself until Julien and Max get home from the Creche. I'm going to spend a couple hours with Max and then have to go check into the maternité. I'm scheduled for a 7:45am operation. BB will be here before 8am Paris time Tuesday morning! 

The little elephant in the photo is Max's bébé elephant that he's been carrying around with for over a week now. We found him a big and little elephant that he's been calling Mommy elephant and bébé elephant. Lately, he has been into comparing everything as petit or gros. Especially Mommy's bidon (belly) and Max's bidon which is very svelthe and petit, he makes sure to point out to me every day. 

Max is about to become a Grand Frere to his Petite Soeur. Let the baby adventure begin....

29 of 30 - Perspective

Thanksgiving 2009 (69 of 79) 

Here I am taking a break while my belly digests a belated Thanksgiving meal. I'm grateful for all the friends I have made here in Paris. They have become my family away from home. Friends that share a lot of the same values as I do and people that I just have a lot of fun with! We joked about how this meal would be my "last supper" before BB's arrival. Technically I can eat lunch before I enter into the hospital but after the dinner I had tonight I highly doubt I will be hungry tomorrow at lunch time. In less than 24 hours I will be admitted into the hospital and will have to spend the night before being prepped for my AM operation. I can't believe we're almost there...

   Thanksgiving 2009 (49 of 79) 

If you asked Maximilien where his "petite soeur" is? He will respond, "Mommy's ventre". I then I ask him who is "grand frere" and he points to himself and says very proudly, "moi!". I can't believe that my first born baby is going to be a grand frere very, very soon. He still lets me hold him like a baby and he still nuzzles my neck in search of butterfly kisses and calin from Mommy. Two more days until our little girl will be here. Last night I was up until 3am baking pumpkin pies and up at 8am this morning ready to go. Sleep is the last thing on my mind thought I know I should get some rest before the big day but I am too excited to sleep. I was playing the Mamarazzi tonight at the party taking photos of everyone. I felt like a million bucks. The adrenaline was flowing and I can still feel it now. So, I guess I'll put it to good use and go do a few loads of laundry before bed tonight. 

 Two more days!!


Well, if having a baby next week on Tuesday wasn't big enough news in our lives Max went off and scared the crap out of us a couple days ago by getting very, very sick. Two mornings ago, we sent him to the Creche, a happy, bouncing boy. That same evening, my husband went to go pick him up and I mean literally off the floor because for the 30 minutes before we arrived he had been sprawled out on the floor with his dou dou staring off into space. He was feverish and then vomited on himself just as we were getting his coat on. 

There has been two confirmed cases of Grippe A (N1H1) at his creche. 

We high tailed it to this pediatrician's office which happens to be right across the street from our apt and then turned us away (!) saying it was gastro. I know gastro and when Max has it and this wasn't gastro. But then again, I didn't know what the flu would do to him since he's never had it. We walked across the street with the instructions of if he had a fever of 39°C for more than 24 hours we were supposed to take him to the hospital because our Ped's office isn't equipped to deal with Grippe A. I watched Max's temperature rise over the next 24 hours from 38.5 to 39.9°C. He would go from HOT to less HOT and just pant and stare off into space. Every once in a while letting me cajole him into drinking some water. And wouldn't let me out of his sight. He grasped my hand with his little, burning hand wanting me to stay with him. We called SOS Medecin to come to our apt at 2am because he had a 104°F temperature that wasn't breaking. Thank goodness they came fast and the doctor took his time examining Max. Everything seemed to say Flu except he was missing the cough which was typical of the Grippe A. He advised us to watch him another 24 hours and see how things. 

Then this morning, Max woke up NORMAL. I laid in bed sleep deprived because I kept waking up all night long checking on him and to see my happy, bouncing boy sitting right in front of me waiting for me to wake up so we go have breakfast threw me for a loop this morning. 

I laid in bed for a few my head spinning at how quickly things changed. Thank goodness for the better and not worse because we all know next week is going to be a big week for our family. But still... talk about complete calamity of the last 24 hours. 

Since Max was sick it threw off my schedule and my to-do lists which included making massive batches of cookie dough for the tea house. But in a fit of despair and stress my husband asked if he could learn to make the cookies. I was skeptical but he had never offered to learn to make the cookies before and I thought, why not. These cookies are hard to make right because there isn't a written recipe (it's my mom's and I learned it by watching her make it through out my childhood) and every person I've tried to teach to make these cookies can't seem to grasp the ratios. Yes, my recipe has ratios and logic in them. The only person who can do it is my brother but then again he has the advantage of eating these cookies ALL of his life, practically. 

So, last night while I was in tears and stressing out, Julien set out to make cookies while I directed him and he did a really good job. And I feel better today knowing that he can do it... then again, thinking about it this morning, he's eaten the original cookies made by mother many times so he has that to fall back on. My little brother can attest to this because Julien once ate an entire jar of my mom's cookies leaving only one for my brother as an after school snack. That was a big turning point in their relationship but I think they've recovered from it. 

So, here's to staying healthy until BB gets here. That's the new mantra for the rest of this weekend. 2 days to go and she'll be here. Tuesday morning is the big day, let's hope for an uneventful weekend until then. 

24 of 30 - Routine

24 of 30 - Routine 

Not until I had Max did my life have so much routine in it. Sure, I had a job before I became a mother and the routine that came with that. Metro, Boulot, Dodo. It was pretty boring and I'm glad I don't do that anymore. My routine as a Mama is much more fun. No more alarm clocks I have a walking and talking one that comes and wakes me up almost at the same time everyday. And when he doesn't, it's a nice break because it's he who sets my routine for the day not some man behind a desk. 

The last couple months I've been having a very hard time getting up in the mornings. Julien has taken over morning routine of feeding Max breakfast, changing his diaper and clothes and getting out the door all by 9 am. In the hour that they are up and having breakfast I slowly wake up and get out of bed to kiss my boys goodbye and wait to see them off from our 6th floor kitchen window. If you could hear Max, you'd would hear him yelling at the top of his lungs, "Goooooodbye, Mommy! I love you!!!" as he waves to me. I watch them walk around the corner and thus starts my day.

One key thing I learned about being a mother to newborn Maximilien was that he needed routine.  He always wanted to nap at the same time and eat at the same time.  And in turn I craved this routine too. And I find myself in these final days of pregnancy thinking about the routine that I will start again with BB and as crazy as this will sound to you I`m really looking forward to it. 

23 of 30 - One more week....

I'm deviating away from my photo project for a moment. I'm not feel very motivated to pick up my camera. The battery is on charge and I'll just leave it like that for now. 

7 more days

Since last Weds, I've been pretty uncomfortable. Getting up and walking from the bathroom to my bedroom (13 meters) I can feel my uterus contract and I hunch over walking like quaisimodo at snails pace. The most comfortable positions for me are sitting down or laying on my side with pillows propped up around me. 

Listen to me. Aren't you tired of me complaining. I am tired of complaining. 

I can't believe that Tuesday of next week I'll have children. I remember talking with someone at the bakery right after Max was born and talking about "mon enfant" and how it sounded so weird to say that. Just as right after Julien and I had been married and me coming to work and talking about my husband. I was 25 and and talking about my husband to my colleagues. That kinda blew my mind back then...

I'm more surprised with the new terms that I have to start using then the action of executing these terms. When I became a Wife, nothing really changed except that I had a husband to come home to and make dinner for and spend time with. But getting used to be introduced as someone's Wife made me blush. When I became an Expat, I just had to learn to live in a new country and find my little piece of home. But saying that I was an Expat took getting used to.  When I became a Mother, I just followed my instincts and everything worked out fine. But saying that I was a Mother after Max was born made me feel like I should have wisdom before my years. When I became a Business Owner, I again followed my instincts and try my hardest to be as responsible as I could. But the stress of knowing that I was Business Owner is something that I am still getting used to.  And now becoming Mother x 2, I assume that nothing else is going to change from the first time around. If anything, I feel more relaxed and prepared. But saying outloud to a friend on the phone today that I will have children. Made me giggle and pause because wow, I'm going to have CHILDREN. 

When I first got pregnant with BB, I used to wonder if I could love BB as much as I loved Max. I love Max with every fiber of my being. I can feel it when we're laying together talking to each other, playing, eating dinner or just looking at each other. I can feel that he feels it too. But as I type this, inside my heart, I know that I will have this for BB. It's just there waiting to burst out of me like it does for Max. This is why I can't wait until she's here. Not because I am physically drained from this pregnancy. I feel like my life has been on hold for the last few months waiting for it start again. Waiting for us to become a family of 4. Waiting for me to become the Mother to my Children. 

One more week to go, little girl. Your brother is anxious for your arrival. He asks when you'll be here and where you are every morning when he looks into your crib. I think he thinks that when he wakes up in the morning that you'll magically be there.  When you do arrive, it will sort of seem like that for him because I will be gone for a week in the maternity when I go off to have you, BB. But I think you and your brother, Max, are going to be best friends. Yesterday, I caught him singing the theme song to Max and Ruby and instead of singing Ruby he sang your name instead. THIS is why I can't wait for your arrival. Mama is waiting for you....

22 of 30 - Preparations

22 of 30 - Preparations

8 days to go. I've started my to-do lists for this last week before BB arrives. Breaking it down day by day of the week so that I can be sure to get it al done. And yes, there is another trip to Ikea programmed this week. 

I've been experiencing pretty strong contractions all last week especially when I find myself on my feet for more than 5 minutes. Walking has become a chore so I've assigned myself to bed rest pretty much this last week. Sitting and laying down as much as I can. My feet are swollen. By 30 weeks with Maximilien, my feet were already swollen and uncomfortable so I am happy to only have to experience this in the last week of my pregnancy. I went to get a pedicure yesterday and the esthetician amused herself by pressing her finger into the top of my foot and watching it leave a dent. She let me have a salt soak for my feet free of charge which was nice. 

I miss being able to be fully mobile. I want to play with Max and keep up with him and I can't. The fact that I don't have full use of my body and that it's been impossible to sleep is very frustrating and makes the end of this pregnancy very uncomfortable. 8 more days to go. 8 more days to go. 

20 of 30 days - My little helper

20 of 30 - My little helper 

I can foresee that Max is going to be my big helper once BB arrives. Nearly every night for the last two weeks I've been baking in the last week or so he's shown interest in helping Mommy out. He pulls over his green Stokke chair and climbs up it like a ladder and asks what he can do "aide Mommy". His official job is to raise and lower the bowl to my mixer and he holds to it for dear life as it mixes and he alerts me when he thinks its done. I keep having these moments where I catch myself staring at Max and can't believe my eyes at how big he seems. His legs are so long. His face is looking less like a baby. How big his hands are. He articulates himself so well using new words everyday. It's impossible to grasp at all these moments but I'm trying my to do my best to get some of the good ones in photos in words.

19 of 30 - Knitterly things

SG SilkMerinoLace_Ultraviolet 

Sweet Georgia's Silk Merino Lace in Ultraviolet. Now available at L'Oisivethé

I haven't written very much lately about the tea house here on my personal blog.  I maintain a blog for the tea house here. And use Twitter and Facebook to post updates of things happening at L'Oisivethé. But lately things have really been taking off for the tea house and it's a part of my everyday life so I should include it in my 30 days. As many of you know, I dreamed of opening my own knit café in Paris. The first year I had L'Oisivethé, I ran only the cafe portion of the business.  Trying to learn every aspect and reworking the work processes to my standards.  I took my time incorporating the knitting portion of the business. I did market research and contacted potential  yarn vendors in the United States and a year and half after I opened my business I received my first shipment of yarn, ShiBui Knits. And 6 months after that my next shipments which increased my yarn stock to include 3 more North American brands, Lorna's Laces, Dream in Color and Sweet Georgia and I'm looking to secure one more at the end of the year. It's a very exciting time at the tea house. Sometimes it's hard to process it all with the arrival of BB happening at the same time. 

After I learned to knit, I'd sit around and fantasize about how it would be so awesome to just sit around and knit for a living. I am not an awesome knitter. I would categorize myself as an intermediate knitter who likes to try new things. As much as I love the actual gesture of knitting I love the who culture surrounded by knitting. Someone said something so true at knitting last night, they mentioned that we may not all be friends in real life but because of knitting we have a common interest and because of this common interest we'll always have something to talk about. It's very true but at the same time, I feel like because of knitting I have had a chance to meet people that I wouldn't normally of had the chance to meet and because of that I have made a whole new array of friends that I enjoy spending quality time with. And all this through what I do for a living... I am very grateful for what I have. I thank my lucky stars everyday. 

One of the French speaking knitters last night announced jokingly, "Ca ya est! le tricot est à la mode! " according to some major fashion magazines who have declared this lately. We all had a nice little chuckle over that because many of us who have been knitting for years already knew this! 

18 of 30 - Comfort things

18 of 30 - Reblocking Lady E

I refreshed Lady Eleanor yesterday. This is a shawl/scarf I knit a few years ago right after my mom passed away. It was a large knitting project that helped to get my mind off things. At the time I was unemployed and just needed to be. Every year, I reblock her so she's nice and fresh for the fall/winter season. She brings me a lot of comfort when I wear her. There is a lovely feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that comes with wearing your own handmade designs. This is something I learned from my mom from an early age. She always wore her own scarves she made and in turn I loved wearing them too. For now, I have her scarves and handknit treasures packed away safely in an air tight container. Saving them for the day that I can share them with my kids, mostly BB because they are very girly. I hope that BB will love them as much as I do. 

17 of 30 - Waiting for BB

17 of 30 - Waiting for BB 

Things are starting to come together. Only 14 more days to go until she's here... The crib wasn't put together when Maximilien left for school today so we'll see what he thinks when he gets home.

*edit* - Max came home and we took him into the bedroom to show him the crib. Last night, he noticed that we had taken out our dresser and there was a big space in our bedroom. He was surprised and kept asking 2 year old style over and over again where the dresser went? Today, Julien built BB's crib and we set it up in our bedroom, we plan on sharing our room for the first year with BB and then transitioning her to Max's room. Tonight, when he went back to our room to see the crib he was immediately intrigued. He climbed up on the bottom railing to look inside and asked where the baby was? Then proceeded to go into his room and point out that Maximilien's bed was there and this new bed was for the baby. And that the baby that is in Mommy's belly will sleep in this bed. I don't know how else to prepare him for the arrival of his sister. Except to talk to him everyday and assure him that things won't change very much. I am worried about the time we'll have to spend apart when I go to have BB. Because of the N1H1 virus going around, there are no visitors under the age of 15 allowed in the maternity. I'm hoping there will be internet I can surf and maybe we can skype. I've never been away from Max more than 24 hours before. But we'll see... I'm grateful that Julien has a lot of time to dedicate to Max right now. I feel like we're doing a good job to prepare him. 

15 of 30 - Nesting

15 of 30 - Nesting

The nesting continues... all this knitting keeps my mind off the feeling that I'm going to pop any day now. I started the first sock over 2 years ago while visiting our friends in State College, PA. We were watching Ratatouille and making a nice evening of staying in and sipping wine and eating cheese. Just a pattern I made up as I went along. Top down, basic rib sock. Nothing too complicated. 

Last night while organizing my projects that need attention I found the first sock and decided to finish the second one. I am the worst at finishing the second sock but I did it while watching Grey's Anatomy last night and now BB will have nice warm toes. I suspect she'll be able to wear these for a while. Now to finish a pair of socks for myself to wear in the maternity...

14 of 30 - Change

14 of 30 - Change

There's going to be so much change coming into this little boy's life very soon. We're preparing as much as we can but as much as we wish we could plan it all out, I think we'll just have to take each day at a time. As we approach BB's birthday, Maximilien continues to grow and change everyday. He's such a chatter box. Speaking up phrases in French and English. Mixing the two languages to the delight of both of his parents. 

This morning we went and got Max his haircut at the salon across the street from the tea house.  This is Stephane, my coiffieur extraordinaire, cutting my big boy's hair. It's funny how after each haircut Max seems so grown up yet I still see my little baby in his face. I know that when BB arrives there will be a moment when it hits me that Max really is a big boy. But I still have a few weeks to hang on to these special moments together. Just us. Me and my first born baby.

11 & 12 of 30 days - The 50mm is still on the kitchen counter.

Well, I got caught up in life and my camera was left at home. These days I can't carry much around with me because I'm carrying a 4kg+ baby in my belly. I've been caught up getting the tea house and my staff up to speed before I go off line and have my baby and will be absent for a week. It's still three weeks away but I gotta start now because that's just how I roll. 

We had a huge turn out for knitting last night at the tea house. It was very exciting to see so many knitters in one place. My little tea house was busting at it's seams we barely had enough chairs for everyone. I went and helped out with the dishes and watched everyone knitting around me and it warmed my heart. I watched my dream happening right before my eyes. I silently thanked Omma for her help because I know without her watching over me I wouldn't have been able to do it alone. 

With each turn in my life, I find myself looking up at the sky and thanking my mother for her guidance. I can't explain why I know she's right here with me I just know it. I feel it. I used to write that I would prefer that she be here physically. I think it's something that doesn't need to be said. Anyone who has lost a loved one would prefer that but this feeling of knowing that she is here with me spiritually is a powerful one. And it has helped me get through many difficult times in my life. 

I remember when I was in the operating room having Max and that feeling of panic and dread came over me.  I was panicking and speaking in English and no one in the operation room could understand me. I swear there was a moment when I heard my mother's voice saying to me in Korean that it was okay. over and over again. And right at that moment my doctor leaned over the partition and said to me in French, that it was ok and showed me my pink, chubby baby. Panic and dread faded away and I drifted off into unconsciousness. 

Last night I couldn't sleep. I would close my eyes and have these mini dramas in my mind and be forced to wake up. Talking with my brother today he told me that last night he had slept terribly as well. It was 4 years ago today that my mother passed away. I hadn't been keeping track of the day but somehow my subconscious was. It is inevitable that I think about my mother at this time in my life. I'm about to give birth to my second child and taking that trip of becoming a mother to a newborn again. I think as mothers we inevitable think about our own moms. I remind myself that life is cyclical and that this is all part of my cycle of life. As hard as it is I have to keep on going. I feel her hand on my back guiding me along the way and I know it's going to be okay. 

10 of 30 - I've missed this.

10 of 30 - I've missed this.

I cooked a proper dish today for lunch. It's been a long time since I've done that. I bake so much at the tea house that when I get home I'm very tired and can't imagine turning the stove on to cook at home. We've been reduced down to simple meals for Julien and I. I do take time to make square meals for Max but not for us. 

I made this lovely bacon and leek quiche today and it was a vrai plaisir to eat it with my friend. I reminded myself that I used to love to cook. 

So here's my easy bacon and leek quiche recipe, enjoy:

2 to 4 leeks, white part only, sliced

1/2 cup water
Sea salt
3 tablespoons butter
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups cream (I use Creme fraiche d'Isigny)
Pate Feuilletee (Marie brand is my favorite)
1/4 cup grated Emmental or Guyere
1 tablespoon butter 

Bring 1/2 cup of water and butter to a boil, add leeks and a nice pinch of sea salt cook until liquid is gone. Caramelized leeks are delicious in this quiche so let all the liquid cook out before setting the leeks aside. 

Cook bacon. I like to cook mine until it's a bit crispy. Drain and mix together with leeks. Set aside.

Wisk together eggs and cream. Throw in a splash of milk if you feel like it. Today, I threw in a splash of ranch dressing for the fun of it. 

Roll out your pâte feuilletee. This is great because it speeds things up. If you feel up to making your own crust go for it. Marie is my favorite brand here in France. 

Spread a layer of cheese in the shell and then add the leek and bacon mixture. Then add the egg mixture. Finally, add another later of cheese. I like to layer a bit of cheese on the crust because it's very good like that. 

Bake at 180°C for 40 minutes. Serve with a nice green salad. 

9 of 30 - Self Portrait

9 of 30 - Self Portrait 

While setting up the camera for a self portrait I took this shot accidently triggering the shutter while trying to set up the timer. Out of all the photos I took this one was the most natural. Pregnancy has brought out the freckles on my face.   

I feel like age is starting to catch up with me. I am 32 years old. Still very young. But I often stare at my eyes and see a wealth of experience in the depths. Experience that I have inherited because I share the same eyes as my mother.

After becoming a mother I notice that I instinctively react and do things and after the fact I often wonder how I knew how to do that. I must have seen my mother do it. I don't have any other explanation. Unknowingly as I grew up I was shaped by my own mother to become the mother I am today. 

Omma has been gone for 5 years now and I still feel the pain of her absence. I take enormous comfort in the fact that when I feel down I can hug my son and know that the love I feel in this moment is what she felt when she'd hug me. 

8 of 30 - Trousseau

8 of 30 - Trousseau

I'm in full nesting mode. I have this urgent need to knit warm things for my winter baby. Hats, booties, blankets... I am building her trousseau of baby things. Wee knits that I will treasure later on when she's out grown them and they will join those of Max and be kept as family heirlooms. 

While I have the energy to stay up late at night to knit I don't have the energy to do the dishes or vacuum the apartment. I believe that the end of pregnancy gets us ready for the lack of sleep that is coming the first few months of your baby's life. I'm amazed sometimes how well I function on such little sleep. But then it catches up to me like today while I was trying to play with Max and all I could do was lay on the bed while he played around me. I know this uncomfortable time is coming to an end and before I know BB will be here. 

Three more weeks to go and I feel like time is standing still again. I am trying to take in the moments of each day and appreciate and be grateful for what I have. I am grateful that I can take maternity leave and devote time to the end of my pregnancy. 

Edit: I've finished the purple hat this morning:

7 of 30 - Grateful

7 of 30 - Grateful

I had another photo for today but decided at the last minute tonight to change it to just this snapshot. Julien brought home a gift that one of my blog readers had brought to me today to the tea house. She is Margaret from Michigan. Thank you, Margaret! I titled this photos grateful because her gesture makes me feel grateful for all the love that I have in my life today. From my family to my great friends here in Paris to my faithful blog readers I am surrounded with love that I am grateful for. 

In her note she thanked me for sharing my life, hopes and dreams with everyone. I started blogging to keep a journal for myself and never had the thought crossed my mind when I started blog did I think that I would inspire people or that anyone would find my life interesting. Now I keep this in blog in part to stay in touch with all the friends I've made all over the world through blogging. Be it through knitting, baking, being young parents or we share the same craze for shoes, I love all these friends I've made over the years. And in many ways we've connected and been there for each other when we've needed each other. 

And now that I have opened my tea house I have had the good fortune to have the opportunity to meet some of them on their travels through Paris. I must admit this is one of the major perks of my job. :) 

I'm sorry I missed you today at the tea house, Margaret. Thank you for the wonderful baby hat and the book. This is one of Max's favorites and his copy is very tattered and torn. It's the perfect size for him to carry in his bag to the Creche. 

6 of 30 - Little Tricks

6 of 30 - Little Tricks

My husband always has these little tricks up his sleeve. Is it a mini pumpkin? Looks like it. It's clementine season and we have our daily dose of clementine after dinner. Good way to get some good vitamin C into Max. Tonight, Julien started cutting his clementine with a knife while Max and I peeled ours with our hands. Intrigued, Max watched wondering what his father was doing. 

Apparently when Julien was young they didn't have easy access to pumpkins like we do today. His grandfather would make homemade jack-o-lanterns for the kids out of clementines. 

This reminds me of when Julien I started dating eight (!) years ago and another trick he played with a match and an invisible string. I was impressed then and I'm still impressed now. 

5 of 30 - Everyday Julien

5 of 30 - Everyday Julien

You guys remember this guy, right? Here we are at Ikea. I think we've been to this place 4 times in one month. We're bad at making lists and always find that we need something else once we get home. There are several Ikeas that are not that far from our house so we can go pretty easily but it's not always easy for Julien and I to go together because Ikea stresses us out. I think it's the fact there's just too much stuff offered and we get overloaded. We used to fight all the time when we'd go but recently we've both decided it's not worth it and we go, get in and get out. And eat donuts and smoothies while we're there because they are mighty tasty. 

But looking at my husband in this photo fills my heart with love because this is my everyday husband. Not the one who gets up and shaves and puts on a suit to look like all the other business types in Paris. Sure, he looks hot when he does that but this is the Julien I prefer. Unshaven. Rough around the edges. My everyday man. 

I am hard on him and I know I haven't been a walk in the park this pregnancy because I haven't felt all that good but I look forward to moving forward once the baby is here and being a better wife. 

4 of 30 - The Fall before the baby

4 of 30 - The Fall before the baby

34 weeks in the only pair of shoes that fit me now. 

Walking home from the La Poste a lone tree in the Parc de Choisy caught my attention. It reminded me of home and how the trees between Olathe and Lawrence would turn yellow, red and orange and make the hillsides look like they were on fire from a distance. 

This is the last fall season before I have two children. I am still trying to get my head around that. We'll go from a family of three to a family of four. And this time next year, BB will be crawling and Max for sure will be jumping his way through the leaves on his way to school. 

3 of 30 - I love cookies

I think cookies are the perfect dessert. They are small and you can eat a few and not feel too guilty. I always feel guilty after eating a big piece of cake or a dessert drenched in crème anglaise. Though so good I don't full enjoy because later I'm thinking I shouldn't have sopped up all that crème anglaise

But then there's the cookie and its perfect companion the glass of milk. My favorite is lait frais by Candia. I drink at least 3 liters a week. Milk has been something I've craved this entire pregnancy. 

So, after going to the Casino tonight I decided I needed to bake a batch of cookies. I have been curious about using pumpkin in cookies since I love it so much in bread and cakes. I whipped up these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies tonight and they are light and airy cakey-cookie goodness. Coupled with a glass of milk and you've got one happy pregnant lady. 

3 of 30 - I love cookies

I'm taking a batch to knitting tomorrow night to let the knitters have a taste. I feel like I should add more spice to the mix but I'll wait and see what everyone else thinks. 

A few photo notes. I shot this with my 50mm f/1.8 lens and my speedlight SB-600. I haven't used my speedlight very much because I'm sort of intimidated by it. But it seems that I don't think to pick up my camera until the evening and the sun sets in Paris now about 5pm! So, I charged up my batteries for the speedlight and walked about the apartment and shot away. I'm pleasantly surprised how well this photo came out. I tweeked the exposure a bit in ACR but that's about it. I'm no pro but I think I'll start toting the flash around with me and try to learn as I go. 

2 of 30 - Twice Daily

Since August 3rd, I've been giving myself twice daily injections of this little drug to prevent my body from developing blood clots. Something I developed while being pregnant and something that will go away once BB is born. I wrote about it back in August when it happened. I've given myself 186 injections and still have 84 more injections to go until I'm done. Yes, I keep track because it's not a walk in the park and now I can now see the end is near. 

2 of 30 - Twice Daily

1 of 30 - Slightly Obsessed

1/30 Slightly Obsessed

I love stripes. I dress myself in stripes. I dress my husband in stripes. I dress my children in stripes. I recommend stripes to my friends when we go shopping. 

I suppose you can say that I am slightly obsessed. 

This is just a small portion of BB's clothes I've bought in preparation of her arrival.  Stripes. Stripes. Stripes. I love it. 

I'm starting a new 30 day photos project to help occupy my mind this coming month before BB's arrival. My lists have lists of things to get done and why not throw a photo project in there as well. I know I need this to keep my mind sane and I will enjoy looking back at these photos after she's here. You may remember that I did a similar project when I was counting down the days to knowing if the tea house would be mine. Ever so often, I look back at those photos and am so grateful to have those memories. It was such a stressful time in my life but reminds me that I got through it and that I can do it again now. 

And for this occasion I've challenged myself to use only my 50mm lens. It's oldie but a goodie that I haven't used in ages. Will be good to exercise my brain on how to work outside it's fixed lens box. 

So, here's to counting down 30 days. Actually 31 days since she's scheduled to make her appearance on December 1st, 2009. But my slightly obsessional side needs me to start on the first of the month and not the second. 

Halloween in France

It really doesn't exist. Halloween is as my friend puts it "Good 'ole American fun" that the French really don't understand. Thought in the last few years I've seen more and more kids dressing up but have yet to have a trick or treater come to my door. I had big intentions this year to throw some kind of Halloween fete at the tea house but being at the end of of pregnancy my energy level has disappeared. Oh well, there's always next year... 

The Creche let us know that they would be doing some activities for Halloween this year and told us that dressing up for the occasion would be encouraged. I quickly made some tiger legs and tail for Max to go with his Tigger hoodie et voila! Tigrou!

Hey don't play with my tail!!

His Tigger tail was a big hit with all the kids. They took turns pulling it. And seeing Maximilien dressed up the other kids wanted to dress up too. The Creche had a costume box that they use at Carnival every year so quickly after Max's arrival the room was full of pirates and gypsies. It was all very cute. 

Luckily, I have a small group of expat friends here in Paris and our kids are nearly the same age. So, Max was invited to his first ever halloween party yesterday afternoon. After having a yummy gouter, my friend, Libby, had arranged with her neighbors and friends for a small trick or treating adventure for the kids. Needless to say that Maximilien caught on quickly. Knock on door, growl and get candy. He loved it. 

Trick or Treat

Even though Halloween isn't a mainstream holiday here in France I'll always look forward to celebrating it with my kids. I have fond memories of carving pumpkins with my parents and anxiously waiting for our dad to get home from work so we could go out and trick or treat. Hauling home pillow cases full of candy and pigging out until our tummies hurt. My brother and I were talking about the homemade costumes we had growing up and it made me smile because I'm doing the same thing my mom and dad did for us.