Growing it out in 2012 Feed

It's a new year...

So let's talk about the end of 2012 for a bit...

Besides I'm sick and there isn't really anything interesting happening right now. We had a pretty mellow evening with friends and our kids. Ate a lot and slept in the next day. The rest of 2013 has been spent in our PJs and hibernating during the last days of the vacances scolaires before going back to regular life next week. 

In the midst of all the excitement for the end of 2012 I forgot to share Maximilien's letter to santa this year. He is particularly excited about Christmas this year. He truly believes in Santa and Julien and I are helping keep this belief alive. Who knows what will happen next year when he starts CP. 

Maximilien's letter to Santa.

He is learning cursive writing this year in grande section. He loves writing and takes every opportunity to write and practice his penmanship. He is pretty proud that he has the longest name in his class this year but is finding it hard to fit his entire name on the small lines they give to write on when he has to write his name on his class work. He definitely goes by Maximilien these days only his family can call him Max. 

We spent Christmas eve with Julien's mother in Nanterre. It was nice to see Julien's brothers again and the kids really enjoy their uncles though they are consistently mixing up their names, Benjamin and Lorin. After a while it was a huge joke and they were doing it on purpose. 

Nöel 2012

It really struck me this year how big Alixe is getting. Last year at Christmas we had put her to bed early because she was too tired to stay up late to open presents on Christmas Eve. But this year she was partying with us all the way until midnight and beyond...

Nöel 2012

I am realizing that there aren't any babies in my house anymore. I sort of find myself fantisizing about having another baby. There aren't any other children in Julien's family for the moment and when they come Alixe and Maximilien will be much older. I am grateful for friends who have kids the same age as Max and Alixe. I hope we will be able to get together more often this year. 

Nöel 2012

These two are so fun together and sometimes they are a real pain. They fight and they make up and in all honesty, I can't imagine it any other way. It's nice to hear from a friend that her kids act the same way. Alixe has really grown up a lot this year. She started talking up a storm once school started and it's really helped with her temperament. Maximilien is still my sweet boy. The after school assistants at school have told me that over the last three years they have seen a wonderful transistion from each school year and they think he's a joy to be around. Warms my heart. 

After spending Christmas eve and Christmas day in Paris we piled into my brother in law's car and drove to Pontarlier to visit Julien's father. We had a feast of oysters (which I don't eat) and foie gras and I went to bed with a full stomach and then got up and took the train back to Paris to work on something fun with a friend visiting from Montréal. I was sad to leave Julien and the kids but glad to be off working on my own on something other than tea house business for once. It's nice to change it up a little...

on the train in Paris

Julien snapped this through the window of the TGV from Frasne to Paris. Now that I have longer hair I can wear hats again! 


Alixe, Bicycles and #growingitout2012

I spent the morning with the kids while Julien did the bi-monthly run to Metro for L'OisiveThé. Maximilien has painting class on Saturday morning so while he's making art Alixe and I hang out and play. Since the weather has been cold and raining lately we have been staying inside and we read a lot of books.

Keeping busy while we wait for Maximilien.

I can't believe how grown up she looks.

Alixe loves books. Even ones without pictures. She loves turning the pages and it fascinated with how they are held together.  She has ripped out her fair share of pages and she is learning like every two year old does that one must take care of their books. Luckily, at the Centre d'Animation where Max's painting class is there's a whole load of books that are new to Alixe so they keep her busy.

She's really started to become a much more social toddler. She will go up to people and see what they are doing. Today, she went and sat next to another parent while they were reading so she could listen to the story too. She also spent a lot of time siting on my lap cuddling me. I love this. She recently figured out how to give kisses instead of these went open mouthed stamps she'd leave on your cheek. It's quite possible the cutest thing I've seen all year. And she loves to kiss her Mama. As we were walking home we admired the decorations that are up in our neighborhood for Chinese New Year. We haven't gone to the parade in past years because it's rather noisy/scary with all the firecrackers but I think this year we'll give it a go.

Chinese New Year is coming!

Preparing for the Chinese New Year.

I worked this afternoon at the tea house. The routine is Julien gets home from Metro and I usually run out the door to start my shift at 1pm. Lately, I've had rather heavy loads to take back and forth from home to the tea house. We've learned that our current bicycle isn't cutting it especially since most time we have a child strapped to the back.

Julien surprised me today with a new to me bicycle:

My new bike from my husband! Isn't she pretty!!

It's a bicycle the postmen use here in France. Apparently they retire them once they become too used. This one looks like an older model though the gear shifter looks brand new.  Compare her to one I saw last summer (also this one is electric):

Postman on his electric bike.

My bike had been refurbished and Julien found it on Le Bon Coin. This is the kind of bike I need. Something that can transport my precious cargo plus the extra stuff I tend to truck back and forth everyday. I have to say, it was love at first sight and how fitting that she's yellow.

Tea canister

She matches the yellow tea canisters at the tea house...

Love the yellow mailbox

and the yellow mail boxes here in France...

Love how tender they can be toward each other.

And my kid's yellow raincoats...


A bit of Madeline Tosh Pashmina around the neck is a good thing.

and my newly knitted cowl. I'm really into yellow right now.


Doesn't my new bike look perfect parked outside l'OisiveThé? Gosh, I love her. Thank you, my dear sweet husband.

Julien got me a new bike! I love her. It's a La Poste velo. Now I can carry some serious weight in the front and the back!  Cc: @merzol  <3

Here's my last Instagram of the day:

Gotta bobby pin the bangs. They are starting to get annoying. #growingitout2012

This is my first photo in my #growingitout2012 series with my glasses on. Looking forward to wearing them with long hair. The bobby pin has started making an appearance as my bangs are starting to get long and heavy. The thickness is coming back as my hair grows. I had forgotten how thick my hair is. Julien started making remarks that he has found my hair all over the apt. Oh, just you wait, Julien...

Ikea and #growingitout2012

Julien and I went to Ikea tonight. Got a babysitter and everything so we could go child free. Talk about an exciting date night. Actually, it was a work trip to Ikea because we are preparing for a huge tradeshow in February where I hope to sell lots of yummy yarn from my shop to French knitters.

We have to build our stand from scratch so off to Ikea we went to get inexpensive storage for the yarn.

My husband says I look like a playmobil toy.

Here my husband said I look like a Playmobil toy. I didn't take offense to that. Not really.

We started to worry as we were in line to pay because we own the smallest car (not counting The Smart car) in France, The Twingo. And we didn't have the foresight to take the car seats out of our tiny vehicle. So here Julien was faced with a pretty complicated task. I just stood by and watched because deep down I knew he'd make it work. He always makes it work when it comes to packing the car except that one time he crushed my Nikon D200 and cracked the LCD screen when he packed my bag but I'm trying to forget that so let's get back to the story, shall we?

Can we get it all in?

He doesn't look worried at all, does he?


And 15 minutes later... the car was packed perfectly without forcing one single thing. Quite possibly the most impressive thing I've seen all year. Way to start the year off, huh? When we were in the elevator in our apartment Julien told me that my hair sorta looked like a helmet and that reminded me that I needed to post another #growingitout2012 photo.

My hair looks like a helmet. That's what my husband said tonight at Ikea.

I'm not upset about the helmet comment because it really does look helmet-y. My hair is so thick so I am not surprised at all. I know when you are growing it out from this short of a length that trims are inevitable unless I am willing to sport a mullet which I am not okay with this. I think I can hold out a little longer before that first trim to help me on my way to #growingitout2012.

I found this cute little image on Pinterest via some Tumblr blog:

From a tumblr blog that I found via Pinterest.

I've got it on my lock screen on my iPhone and it's been a great motivator for me not to think about getting my hair cut. My ultimate goal is number 7. I am currently at number 1 but not nearly as cute. Sigh.

Back to our routine & #growingitout2012

It's been a busy time since the begining of the new year. I had complete turnover at the tea house that lasted from November to end of December. As you can image it's been a pretty stressful time for us. We decided to up my hours and only hire a part timer to replace my full time employee that left us at the end of December. It took me a couple weeks to get adjusted to the new hours and I feel like it's going to work for us. Before I had Wednesdays off to hang out with Max and take him to his various activities. In France for the younger children in school there isn't school on Wednesdays. It seems a little strange but it's a nice break for him and he is only four. Now on Wednesdays, I take Maximilien to his morning English class and he comes back to the tea house with me and hangs out while I prepare for the day. Usually I work the lunch service with someone so I have time to hang out, eat lunch with Max before getting to work at noon. Julien comes over on his lunch break to take Maximilien to his tennis lesson and he bikes over and hangs out at the tea house while Max is in class. For the moment this is working for us as long as Julien doeslun't have any nch meetings. Then in the afternoon, Max hangs out with me at the tea house while I work tea time. So far it's been pretty fun as the customers are used to seeing him at the tea house.  He helps out by clearing tea cups and giving menus to customers once they have been seated. He even helps me dry dishes. He has his own reserved table where he can come and go as he pleases and often Max is striking up conversation with the people who happen to sit next to him. I love that he is at ease talking with my customers and they just love talking to him too.

Some days it's quiet like it was this week:

Quiet day at the tea house.

Maximilien and I had time to have a post tennis rooibos tea together. And before I could finish my second cup of tea L'OisiveThé was full and I was busy serving tea to weary shoppers. This is the first week of Les Soldes in France. I was left with this after they left:

A storm of people came and had their gouter and now they are gone. All in under an hour...

Before I knew it was closing time and I needed to prepare to go get Alixe from the creche to make dinner for the kids.

Closing up the terrasse. Served a few brave tea drinkers outside today. @loisivethe

Wednesday nights will be dinner night at the tea house. We are going to try this out through the end of the school year to see how it works for us. This week we had oeuf à la coque which the kids love.

New routine! Weds night dinner at L'Oisivethé.  @loisivethe

I think this new weekly routine is going to work out well for us. I love having the kids at the tea house and now that Alixe is a bit older and more autonomous I know she will be alright if I have to serve a customer a tea while she plays in the toy corner.

Today was the first day of the weekend we were pretty much back to normal. We slept in late after a late night of getting everyone to sleep. Both kids are in the midst of vivid nightmares and wake up once or twice a night usually end up in our bed. Last night, we had both kids with us. When Alixe slept in until 10am this morning we were all very pleasently surprised and well rested. We got up and headed out to Breakfast in America for our regular late morning breakfast and park play.

SuperDad & SuperSquirt @ BIA

Milkshake. Four straws.

Mmmmm. Good.

Paris parc play

Sun glorious sun!

It was quite cold today in Paris but the sun was out which made the day a crisp cold which I like.  The light in Paris was gorgeous today. We were out at the park until after 5pm and the sun hadn't set yet. The days are getting longer...

I stopped in a couple times to the tea house today to make sure all was well. I can't imagine living far away from my business. I am lucky that I live and work all within a ten minute walk. A five minute bike ride. Even though I am not there my employees know they can call me and I can be there in five.

I end this post with the first photo I took today which was a photo of me right straight out of bed.

First thing this morning. #growingitout

And my last photo today:

End of the day hair. It's starting to get out of control. #growingitout2012

I have set the goal for my self to grow my hair out this year.  I have a some twitter friends playing along and we are using the hashtag #growingitout2012. Feel free to join us in the fun! Growing it out will be a difficult task for me as I am addicted to getting my hair cut and I love my fabulous hair stylist, Stephane.  I'm going on nearly two months without a hair cut...shaggy? Not yet.

Growing it out in 2012

I always say it. Ask anyone who knows me I feel like I am perpetually trying to grow my hair out but I feel like I have to do it now or it will be never. I'm 34 years old and have minimal gray hairs going on and I feel like before I do start going gray I want to grow my hair out. Also, I miss putting my hair up ina ponytail and something about brushing Alixe's hair which is now longer than mine makes me want long hair again.

I had some pretty cool hair styles lately and I will miss them for a while... I figure I can go back to them again someday. Remember this:

Yeah... I like it.

Another selfie in an elevator. #elevatorseries #rightnow #sp #selfportrait

Very fun. By far the coolest hair cut I've ever had but now I want something more feminine. I just read on Dooce that she's growing her hair out too and she's going to blog about it. Something about that Mama and her explanation about how breastfeeding felt like the first time (stapler to the nipple) as she fed her daughter Leta really clicked with me. It was like she totally got it and made me feel less crazy as a new mom. I haven't stopped reading her blog ever since. So, here I go... blogging about my hair on my blog. Cheer me on because it's going to take a lot of cheering to keep me going. My hairstylist is located right across the street from my tea house and I see him everyday. Help me be strong in 2012 and grow it out.

This is me today:

Growing it out in 2012.