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Keeping up with the Gille Family...

March has been a busy month for us. Honestly, it's been non stop busy-ness for us since the beginning of February. Where I was so tired at the end of February, now I am used to all this non stop action I don't think I can sit down and do nothing when I have free time. I had my first weekend off last weekend. The kids went to visit their grandmother while Julien was away over the weekend. An entire weekend to myself! I didn't even know what to do with myself. I got motivated to buy some new running shoes to try to get back into running again and while I was walking around the Parc de Bercy I decided to go see a movie. I actually really enjoy going to the movies alone. Not that I have time to talk to anyone during the movie I do miss not having someone to talk to about the movie afterwards. I saw The Hunger Games. I have to say that I really, really enjoyed it. I felt like it was true to the book. They left out some of the side story details that really didn't change anything from the main story line but I felt like the actors they chose for the main characters were spot on. Yes, even Woody Harrelson. If you're intrested in seeing this movie I recommend reading the book first and then going to see it. It's a short read and I put it away in two days.

After having the weekend to myself, I spent some time cleaning the apt and trying to sleep in but I was unsuccessful. I woke up everyday at 8am. Where I was once a champion at sleeping in now I can rarely sleep past 8:30am. Kids will do that to you... it's not so bad, I get a lot done before noon now. :)

I had time to edit some photos that I had taken of Alixe from our previous Monday together. I love spending time with just her. I can tell she needs one on one time with Julien and/or I. We spent a lovely Monday together even if it did include getting a vaccination which she didn't even cry about. Such a big girl.

She was willing to sit for the camera today...

Maximilien turned five this month. I can hardly believe it. It was such a sweet day to remember becoming a mother. Holding Max for the first time in my arms and feeling the joy I felt when he finally arrived. He made me a mother.

Aimee & Maximilien

Who has the best cheeks ever??

 

Happy birthday to you, Maximilien!

Maximilien loves Transformers and BeyBlade tops right now. He is into Miyazaki films especially Totoro and Ponyo. He thinks his new tennis shoes make him run fast but not as fast as his Iron Man shoes he got from his Halahboji. He loves to ride on the back of my bicycle and he now insists climbing onto the bike himself. He loves to draw and write. He is learning to read. He tells me that he will always love me and that he won't stop giving me kisses until he's at least 35 years old.  His words exact.  He loves to race and play tag.  He is a joy to be around. Oh, he is always singing...

Les Mysterieuse Cités d'Or by Maximilien from PutYourFlareOn on Vimeo.

We had a lovely visit from my brother and his girfriend, Lauren right before Max's  birthday.  Not to put the pressure on the rest of my family but Max has been asking when everyone else is going to come visit. He especially loves sharing his daily life with his extended family. Looking forward to seeing more Osbourns this year.

Saying goodbye to Harrison and Lauren. Thanks for the visit! We will miss you. Cc: @laurendmeyer

Something happened to Alixe last week which I plan to write about in another post. It was rather serious and scary. It will take me some time to put to words all that happened. She is alright. She is back to normal, sassy self.

I started writing this post in March and today it's April 1st. Tomorrow will mark four years since I opened L'OisiveThé for business. I have been refleting on that all weekend and hope to find some time to write down my thoughts and goals for the future of L'OisiveThé.

 

 


In the midst...

February is a very busy time for our family. Lots of BIG projects going on for Julien and I. Potential life changes for Maximilien and Alixe. All very exciting and all still very much in the preliminary stages...

I just finished a huge trade-show and am exhausted beyond belief. I'll post about that later once I catch up a bit on some rest but I did capture a couple videos of Maximilien and Alixe last week that I wanted to share. They are growing up so fast and I feel like I need a little more than my memory to grasp onto these years they are so young. It seems to me everyday Maximilien comes home and he's learned a new song at school. Singing has become a real passion for him. You will hear him singing all the time. I know that my mother would have loved this because one of the fondest memories I have of Omma is her singing in the kitchen while she worked.

I'm starting a short series of videos of songs that the kids sing. I will try to take one or two every week and post them here. Max's repertoire of songs is impressive. As an adult, I can't even remember the words to one song I love. Max can easily sing ten different songs and knows the words by heart. And he has a milk mustache in this video that is epic!

Alixe is following right along in her brother's footsteps. She's at that age where she wants to do what her brother is doing. Honestly, she's been like that every since she was born. Doing things way faster than I remember Maximilien doing them. Her baby years have disappeared right before my eyes and she's acting like such a big girls these days. Alixe is shy in front of the camera and she has the hiccups. So very cute.

Ladies and gentlemen... I present to you my little stars:

Petite Citrouille sung by Maximilien from PutYourFlareOn on Vimeo.

Les Petites Marionettes by Alixe from PutYourFlareOn on Vimeo.

 

 


First of many...

Today is Max's first day of Maternelle. Comme d'hab, I was running late this morning after a long night with Alixe not sleeping well. I took some photos but as usual I was rushed and didn't take into consideration my own shadow in the photo. Oops. Maybe I'll post the photo later...

But like everyday when we leave the apt, Max loaded up his trusty trotinette and we were off!

Note the cartable that Max is sporting. I had intended to get him a classic backpack but he was against anything we found. He rejected 6 bags before we found this one he spotted in the window of Petite Bateau. Honestly, it's the perfect bag for him. Reflects his summer vacation a la mer and just enough room for his precious dou dou and a change of clothes.

We arrived just a little bit before 10h30 to meet a few of his other classmates. Happy coincidence one of his friends from the Crèche is in his class. We introduced ourselves to the Maitresse and went over to say our goodbyes. Maximilien immediate starting putting together puzzles and started talking to another boy in the class who he had just met. I bent over to tell him that I was leaving and he said to me, "Good bye, Mommy". Kissed me and ran off into the classroom without looking back.

My little boy is going to school. I called a friend and talking to her on the phone that it's always been harder on me the separation from Max than it has been for him. Even when he started the Crèche at 16 months he was toddling off on his own waving goodbye to me before we even entered the building.

Alixe starts the Crèche next week and it will be interesting to see how well she adapts. She's got a lot of separation anxiety going on right now but on verra... my kids never cease to amaze me.


Trying to catch up with time

I can hardly believe how big Maximilien seems to me these days. In the early days of Alixe's arrival he seemed like a giant next to little Alixe. It made the melancholy I felt in the early days magnify because it became so obvious to me that my first born wasn't really a baby anymore.

44/365 : Home sick and happy about it

Next month he will turn three. THREE. I can't believe three years ago I gave birth to my little stinker that I adore. I mean, I honestly am shocked at how fast time flies. Having children really accentuates how fast it really does pass. Ferris Bueller said it best, "Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it" My maternity leave ends this month and as much as I really want to go back to work I am realizing that maybe I'm not all that ready to do so. I have the opportunity and the means to stay home a bit longer and I am going to try to do that. Because it's such a short amount of time my kids are little like this and I don't want to miss it. I don't want 5 years to pass and for me to feel like I've missed out anything. I don't want to miss even the littlest things. Max has taken to singing a lot these days. Mostly Christmas carols he learned at the Creche and a few tunes he makes up on his own. His language improves everyday and more more he is losing his baby ways of talking. I know in just a few months time he will have made leaps and bounds of progress but I love trying to decipher his toodlerese for now.


Singing and counting and POURQUOI? from PutYourFlareOn on Vimeo.


Two Years

Dear Max,

You are two years old today. Typing this out makes me pause for a moment and think back to your birth day. I remember not being about to sleep at all the night before. Knowing the day you were going to come into this world had been a comforting thought. I was excited for your arrival and sleep was the last thing on my mind. The end of my pregnancy wasn't the typical count down to your predicted due date instead it was like me being 6 years old again counting down the days until Christmas. You, of course, being the best gift I've ever received. I can remember clearly the day I brought you home. We hadn't bought a car seat for you yet so your Dad drove home my luggage and your bags while I walked you home from the clinic in the stroller. Looking down through the window in the canopy you looked so tiny. Today, you can turn and reach your hand up to mine and the days of being a stroller baby are rapidly coming to an end.

The day I brought you home, I remember riding up the elevator with you snuggled in my arms. You were awake and very alert. You were taking in all the new surroundings. I paused at our front door and told you, "welcome home, my son". Today, you know how to use the key to unlock the door to our building. You dash over to push the button to call the elevator. When we arrive at our door, instead of me being the one opening the door for you, it is you that demands to be the first one in.

Last night, I picked you up early from the Créche so we could go kick dirt together and chase pigeons in the park. "Bird" and "Tree" and "Woo woo!" (for dog) are a few of your favorite words. I stood back and watched you run, trip, pick yourself up and go again. My big baby is becoming a big boy. I ran after you so that I wouldn't miss a moment of our afternoon play date. Know that I will always be running after you, my son. We fell asleep in Mama and Daddy's bed tonight, you wrapped your little arms around me and hugged me. Patting my back and holding me tight as you fell asleep. The grip loosened and I snuggled you close.  I whispered in your ear that I'll always be here for you because I am your mother.

I try to remember my life before I became a mother and it's all starting to become a blur.  Being a mom to these past two years has really shown me that I have found my path in life. I am grateful for this gift you have given me, Max.


2 years of Maximilien from PutYourFlareOn on Vimeo.

I made a little photo video for your birthday and it was such a pleasure because each photo took me back to the day each moment was captured. One photo for each month of your life. With Shel Silverstein singing one of my favorite poems of all times.

Maximilien, you are loved. Your father and I are so blessed to have you in our lives. Do you know that every night before we head to bed we go into your room and watch you sleep? Smiling, we watch you as you dream... the love we have for you washing over us ten fold.  Never in a million years would we have thought that we could love someone as much as we love you.  

Happy, Happy Birthday my boy... 

Love,

Mama


Somewhere along the way he learned to say Thank You...

Actually Merci. Just this week I've been hearing Max say, "Merci" when I give him things. I wasn't quite sure what he was saying as toddlerese can be hard to decipher at times. But yesterday, I gave him something and I said to him "thank you" and he responded with "Merci".

Though it sounds more like Ah-chi. And sometime he says it in English and it comes out as "Ah-choo". Very cute all the same. Sure does make this sick day much better hearing him say it to me all the time. Like after I wipe his nose for the millionth time.


What we do when we're not sleeping...

I haven't posted a video in a while. Just haven't had time to think about getting the camera out until today. Here's a little clip of Maximilien and I playing on the floor in his room. He really loves the perspective. I often catch him laying on his back staring out the window. Today, we worked on his balance and I wanted to show him that it's okay to fall down.  He's getting braver everyday. He's started dive bombing everything with in his reach.  And he is still all about tasting the world around him.  I love how he looks over to me like he's saying, "Mama, watch this!" or "Look what I can do".  Everyday is a new adventure for us. Even though I lack sleep I somehow find the energy to do the mom thing.  Just looking at my son fills me with this energy I've never had before. 

Sitting up, getting stronger, being braver from PutYourFlareOn and Vimeo.


Sleep, where are you??

I've been trying to teach Maximilien the art of sleeping. He needs it. We need it. When he gets a lot of it he's such a happy baby. When he doesn't, the old man face comes out and then the scary baby.  I've been reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. Well, I've been skimming it and just reading the parts that pertain to Max. I've gotten to the part that explains how to get your baby on a healthy sleep routine. Even at this age they need stability or else they go crazy with over tiredness.  I couldn't understand why it was so hard for Max to get to sleep. I would notice that he was batting his ears and rubbing his eyes. For me that meant bed time. I was wrong. Bed time was probably about 15 to 30 minutes before the rubbing of the eyes and I had missed my window of opportunity.  When I'd try to sooth Max to sleep after he'd already been rubbing his eyes, it would literally take me two hours and sometimes longer to get him to sleep. It would have to be a combination of nursing and then fast walking up and down our long hall way (boy, are we glad to have that now) to get him to finally calm down. 

Sleepy, Sleepy... from PutYourFlareOn on Vimeo
May need to turn the volume up.....

A couple times I would notice that he would be in a rather calm mood. Not really interacting just sitting there with a very pensive look about him.  I would pick him up and rock him a bit, sing to him and POOF! He fell asleep. Those are the good days when I can catch his "pre-zzz" signs. The bad days are when we're out just a bit too long and I miss my window to put him down and then the screaming banshee comes out and I'm left walking up and down the hallway until Julien gets home where he'll take over because my back is killing me. 

My beef is how do we go out with Max if he has to follow such a strict sleep schedule.  Going out throws everything out of wack for him. He is sensitive. He does not like his stroller. He hates laying on his back.  He hates his car seat.  The baby bjorn is an option but it's hard on my back. He weighs 6.7 kilos (14.7lbs) now.  He wants to be held all the time. The latter doesn't really bother me that much because I LOVE holding him.  I know I'm probably making a mistake but whatever it's my first kid. I'll learn later. Anyway, if I don't keep him on his strict sleep schedule he will turn in to monster baby and not sleep and that means I don't sleep and I'll going crazy again. 

So, tonight I am trying something new. As I type this I put Max down in his crib and let him fall asleep by himself. I wound up his mobile and let it play. He layed there listening to it and cooing softly. After the music stopped he started to cry. I let him whimper a bit but it built up to the I'm-not-going-to-breath-crying and at the moment he did that my brother who I was skyping with says to me, "isn't it bad to let a baby cry like that?" He could hear Max crying through the wall over skype all the way in Seoul, Korea. *sigh* I hung up with my brother and picked up Max. Breastfed him, calmed him down and he fell asleep in my lap. I put him in his crib and he woke up crying again. I played his mobile for him yet again and would let him kick it out until he fell asleep. I forced myself to shut the door and let him cry.

And to my surprise he suddenly fell asleep. On his back. Oh, another thing, he only sleep on his stomach. I mean really sleeps. If he sleeps on his back he startles himself awake and then can't get back to sleep. So, there he was sleeping on his back. I had the baby monitor turned up and I waited to hear if he'd wake up. And he did. So, again I went to his crib, lowered the bar and sat next to him, saying nothing, rubbing his back and played him his mobile again. And I put him on his stomach and he fell right to sleep.

It's 6:45pm. He's been asleep for 15 minutes. Will it last?

++++++++++

7:00pm. Julien just got home. Max woke up crying as hard as his little body could. L'armes de crocodiles.   I couldn't resist I picked him up.

Ok, back to the drawing board, I guess....

+++++++++++

Just wanted to add, when he finally does go down. He sleeps for 8 hours straight. But it takes us hours to finally get him down. I don't understand why it takes so long... Thank god, Julien is home... my back needed the break.

+++++++++++

Nearly three hours after Julien got home, Max finally went down. He sat on my lap while I ate dinner. Julien rocked him up and down the hallway and he went down at 10pm. I'm obsessing about this sleep thing.

This is my life now. :)


 


 


10 pairs of my shoes find themselves a new home....

I'm no longer a size 39 (size 8) anymore. The pregnancy left my feet a half size bigger. 10 pairs of shoes have a new home now...

The loss of 10 pairs of shoes... from PutYourFlareOn on Vimeo

I tell my husband the sad news and he says to me, "Let's get some shoes!" Ah, he *so* understands me. :)


L'etat de Nous*

Julien is on paternity leave for two weeks. Thank god, I need him!  Though, things have gotten easier in the past weeks and I am used to the breastfeeding, taking care of baby thing, changing diapers, bathing, etc... I am still struggling with the lack of sleep. I feel recharged after getting a good three hours but it's a faux recharge as soon after I feel my feet dragging and have a hard time focusing again.  So now that Julien is off work he's living at Maximilien and I's pace and I think he's realizing how hard things really are. But he is also realizing  how amazing and rewarding it can be too. Just tonight after two failed attempts to get Max to sleep, I gave up and took him to bed with me. I breastfed him and before I knew it he had been on the boob for over two hours. I'd say more like three judging how floppy my boob felt after I woke up.  When I fall asleep with Max in bed I call if fake sleeping because I'm not really asleep, I think my body lets me rest a little but doesn't let me sleep to protect Max.  Julien came in to check on us and I was cranky as hell and wanted real sleep. He took Max to the living room and I tried to sleep. Max cried for a while and I covered my head with a pillow and tried to shut it out so that I could give my two boys time together.  The mamas out there can relate it's hard hearing your baby cry. I had to hold everything in me to keep myself from running out to him. But before I knew it, I had slept 5 hours straight something that hasn't happen in a long time since we've come home from the clinic and Julien had gotten the boy to sleep on him for the first time. I could tell he was proud and happy when he brought him back to me so that I could feed him. He gave me Max and in a dazed state and announced he was off for a shower. This is our life at 2:30am. 

I'm really glad that Julien waited to take his paternity leave now. I think Max is more aware of the two people in  his life right now. Of course, he knows me but I think he's realizing there is someone else here who's just as equally important.  There is something in his eye that I see when he looks at Julien like he's putting two and two together:

Bath time on Vimeo

Just now as Julien laid down to sleep he annouced how he was looking forward to sleeping in. I laughed. Sleeping in? Yeah, right. He has no idea that those days are way over, at least for a couple years.  Funny how I can joke about it now but seeing Max's little face when I reach over to pick him up in the middle of the night makes me forget how things like sleeping in on the weekend used to be so important to me.

*The state of Us.

 


Playtime with Maximilien

Playtime with Maximilien on Vimeo

Max discovers high contrast images. Watch how he focuses on each image and then reacts.  He particularly like the target image, it must remind him of something famliiar *wink* and the piano image. Maybe a future musician?

And you'll notice that Max is already wearing a little KU Jayhawk.  He's got the waving of the wheat down pact, I'm not surprised he's got crimson, blue and gold in his genes. :)


Plus fort que moi

I've just cleaned the pantry. Emptied everything, wiped the shelves down and re-organized it. I never do this.

Nesting? Yes, I think so.

Here's what Julien thinks:

Transforming mom into a cleaning lady... on Vimeo

Julien says: "Merci, mon fils. Tu as transformé ta mère en cleaning lady. Pas besoin d'en embaucher une. J'en aurai une à la maison.  C'est merveilleux. Je ne croyais pas que celà serait possible mais tu as reussi l'impossible. Tu n'est pas encore né et tu es deja merveilleux. " 

Thank you, son. You have transformed your mother into a cleaning lady. Now I don't need to hire one, I have one at home. It's great! I didn't think it would be possible but you have accomplished the impossible.  You're not even born yet and you're already marvelous.