Out and about today. Business meeting then a bit of walking in search of running shoes on sale. I hardly leave my neighborhood anymore. Very Parisian to stay in one's neighborhood. Everything I need is with in a 4 block radius of my apartment. I enjoyed my outing today reminded me of times when I was younger before I had kids. I walked in front of a familiar cafe we used to frequent as a young married couple and hanging around Chatelet I was reminded of the very first knitting group I was apart of us. Seems like a dream ago but all the memories are still fresh in my mind. I've always liked this building. I know it was a sort of a controversy when it was first built. Some called it an eye sore. I don't agree. The Tour de Montparnasse is an eye sore and out of place. I like the juxtaposition of this modern building (though built 33 years ago!) amongst the classic Parisian architecture. I will never forget the first time I saw it, I was in high school on my very first trip to France. My French teacher compared the building to a public bathroom with it's plumbing on the outside of the building. Obvious, he did not like the building. It was a strange thing to say...but I remember clearly disagreeing with him (in my mind) and thinking the building was pretty amazing. Photo from my 365 photo project over on Tumblr.
I always walk by this laundromat on my way home from work on Sunday nights. It’s usually always empty and I always walk slowly looking at the bubbles on the windows and the yellow machines in a row in the background. A distinct memory of my mother always appears in my mind. It’s a memory of my mother and I in the laundromat in centre ville in Besançon, France. I was a working as a teacher and my parents had come to visit me for two weeks. We headed to the laundromat to do some washing. I was busy putting clothes in the washer while a French woman was muttering to herself in French and literally scratching her head because she didn’t know how to work the machine. My mother observed her for a few minutes. Then she got up, walked across the room to the woman and stood next to her. They did not speak but the woman made a gesture towards the machine like, “how do you make it work?”. My mother reached out and pushed the button to make the machine go. The button was marked “ON”. The French woman smiled and thanked her in French. My mother smiled and came back to sit next to me. She looked at me and smiled and said, “The machine is in English”. I looked at all the machines and they were ALL marked in English. It hadn’t occurred to me that they were not in French. I smiled at my mother as I could see she was so pleased she could help someone even doing something as simple as pushing the “on” button on the washing machine. This was the way she was. Always helping people out whenever and wherever she’d go.
I feel like sometimes I am forgetting her. It’s sometimes that feeling you have when you try to remember a dream you just had. Fleeting moments that come to me when I’m sleeping when I wake up I am so desperate to keep them close all the while my mind is pushing them away. I don’t know why this happens to me.
I am realizing that it is the little memories that tend to be the most precious to me. Sure there are the milestones and birthdays and firsts to remember. There will probably be photos of those moments for sure. I want to remember the moments in between hence my reason for doing a 365 photo project this year. And who knows… maybe I’ll just do it every year from now on…
I started a 365 photo project and instead of posting them here everyday I thought I'd just do a recap of the week every Friday. I'm going to post my favorite photo of the week and link back to my other photos if you're interested in seeing them. I'm using Tumblr to post my 365s and having a lot of fun blogging over there. It's a very young vibe but I prefer to keep my personal blog here on Typepad.
My favorite shot from this week is Thursday's photo 6/365:
When Max hears the familiar sounds of Skype he always pipes up, "Is it Halahboji?" or "Nam nam?" or "Hession?" or "Emo?" or "Kun Emo?". Yes, he goes through the list of my family members until Skype picks up and he sees who is calling. Tonight we Skyped with William aka. Nam Nam. Max misses his uncle. It was good to "hang out" with his uncle a bit.
And he got his hair cut super short! It's very cute. He looks so grown up.
I also really like today's photo:
Over the vacation I was lucky to have a lot of one on one time with Alixe. Max spent time with his uncles and his Mamou. When schools back in session it's a lot of sharing time with Mama between Alixe and Max. I can see it's hard for Max because it's a lot of him waiting for me to feed Alixe or waiting for me to bathe her and get her to bed, etc... I love our Wednesdays because we have the entire day together and I really let him do whatever he wants. He has English class in the morning (which he loves!) followed by intro to martial arts class which was hard for him in the beginning because he was the youngest and standing still and listening was a new concept for him to learn but now he's been going to class for a few months and his teacher tells me he's has really good coordination for a child of his age and he has become a very good listener. The reason why I love this photo is because on Friday nights we have a routine. I pick up the kids from school/creche we stroll home and make dinner. This is movie night for us so by the end of the week Max has been looking forward to this night of the week AND he gets to stay up an extra hour because there's no school the next day.
Tonight, we watched Wall-E. I put the movie on while I feed, bathed and put Alixe to bed. Usually takes me about 45 minutes to get it all done. In the meantime, Max is with us watching a movie on my laptop. By the time I am ready to take Alixe back I have served Max his dinner. When I come back, his goal is to have half his dinner eaten. He does most of the time. :) I have to say I feel like super mom on this night of the week because it's goes so much soother with the extra buffer hour before he has to go to bed. But what is even better is that we are hanging out together doing what we want to do. He loves to color and watch a movie. I love to knit and watch a movie. A typical Friday night at our house.
My flash wasn't calibrated correctly but whatever... sometimes I just don't have time to worry about things like that. I didn't want to miss this shot because it reminded so much of a shot I took of Max at this age. Either I have a good memory or my memory is shot because I only remember things by the photos I take?
And yes, that's orange crayon drool on Alixe's t-shirt. She smiled later and had it on her teeth like it was lipstick except bright orange! Made for interesting diapers later that day.
I've been thinking about what to do about this blog. I have had some sort of blog under the name of PutYourFlareOn for nearly 8 years now. EIGHT YEARS. This blog has seen me through my move to Paris, the first years of my marriage to Julien, my first job in France, my mother passing away, the birth of my first child, the opening of my own business & the birth of my second child. With each passing event in my life I found that I blogged less and less. Every time I think about stopping I feel a tinge in my heart as to say "don't do it". I get a lot of pleasure reading old entries and remembering moments long forgotten.
I intend to keep blogging. I'm just not sure in what capacity yet.
Alixe is one now. She had her birthday on December 1st. I can't even express the joy she brings to my life and how much she has made me realize how important a daughter is to a mother. Even at 12 months she teaches me things about myself that I didn't know. Through the good and bad I am grateful to have her in my life.
Part of the reason I haven't blogged much in 2010 is Alixe. The addition of the second child into our life wasn't as seamless as I thought it would be. I honestly didn't realize how difficult it would be juggling it all. Several things in my life were just put aside because it wasn't important. The first six months after Alixe was born I was in true survival mode. Surviving the waves of emotions I felt everyday, the depths of depression I felt every moment of the day while caring for a newborn and a toddler. I felt resentment, anger, sadness, grief and massive fatigue. Though I can't remember much of what went on the few months after Alixe was born I know that I wouldn't have been able to make it through unless Julien was there to help me. I reflect back to that time and it seems so long ago. The memories of that dark time are starting to fade and to be honest I am glad to let them go.
It is amazing to me still the difference between my children. First of all they look very different (which I love) and they act very different. Where Maximilien was brusing through toys, Alixe is gentle and very delicate in the way she plays. Alixe is already starting to talk when at this time Max was ready to walk. They eat differently. Alixe cries a lot more than Maximilien ever did. Max slept (and still does very well) and Alixe just doesn't sleep.
The weeks leading up to Alixe's birth I had insomnia and would stay up late reading blogs from other mother's about their experience adding a second child. Some were positive, some were negative... in the end they painted a picture for me of how things could be for me. And now looking back I should have been knitting more instead of reading those blogs.
Now that 2010 is over I feel a weight has been lifted. I feel excited for 2011 and the projects I have planned for our family and myself. This is going to be a different year for us. A new beginning. There are no new babies in our future instead lots of plans to nurture and play with our two lovely children. I have plans to expand the tea house business. I also have plans to travel this year. And finally I have plans to care for myself. I feel like I have been taking care of everyone else this past year and now its my turn to take care of myself.
Let's not forget about this guy. My little guy. Carrying him home last night at 4 am, he felt so big. I smelled his neck as he nuzzled in close to me. He smelled of baby lotion the same that I used when he was baby. Max will be 4 years old in March. FOUR. I look at this photo and still see his baby eyes looking at me. Maximilien is in the midst of new beginnings as well. He started school in the fall of 2010. He's testing his boundaries and learning patience around his little sister. He has never once shown any jealousy towards her and this is a true testament to his loving and joyous nature.
Here's to 2011, a year of new beginnings... I hope the new year brings much happiness to you.