Thursday, January 31, 2008

Winter chills

Our life in 2008 is starting off with a bang. Paul is currently in Nova Scotia applying for a new visa. To be honest, he is stuck there until he can get a flight back to Chicago. Chicago is receiving quite a dump of snow at present. Paul has accepted a position with a new employer and is about to start working out of home once again. Paul is really looking forward to this as he will be able to continue working on his ‘hobby’ full time. He can’t think of a better job! 

Our new niece Blanche continues to grow and look cuter. Jenni and Sebastien are about to make a move from Grenoble, France to Leceister, UK. I am a little upset as they will be selling their ultra-cute and very French apartment – and I have not had the opportunity to visit it! We can’t wait to meet our new niece and cousin. Luc has even accepted that Blanche is here to stay and his cousin quota has increased. 

What is it with kids and a change to status quo? Paul hasn’t been away for a while so Luc is having a hard time with it. I went to pick Luc up after school yesterday, to be informed that he had been hitting kids and had kicked one boy in the face. I was horrified and therefore cancelled our ‘treat’ visit to the supermarket (yes, this is a treat!). The afternoon didn’t get any better with Luc wetting his pants (and bathmat) when visiting the toilet (deliberate I am sure), putting up a champion resistance to bathtime, pulling his books from the bookshelf during a time out, and then spitting on my arm and the bench top (several times) whilst doing his teeth! AHHHH! I was furious. We had a big shouting match followed by some ‘understanding’ time with cuddles and apologies (from us both). After stories, the boys went to sleep. PHEW. 

Then…at 4am I had a visit from Nicolas. I couldn’t be bothered taking him back to bed so he slept with me. At 6am, I had a visit from Luc – who told me he had vomited in his bed. He traded places with Nic who went back to his own bed with a morning bottle of milk. 

After changing sheets and PJs, tidying up, giving the boys a breakfast of pancakes (using a cheat mix) and settling them in front of a Curious George DVD, I thought I would finally take a shower… Luc came in to visit me. Danger lurks when boys are separated so I asked Luc to check on what Nicolas was up to. He went to investigate and returned to tell me that Nic was ‘stuck’. Having no idea what this meant, I went dripping into the family room to see what was going on. I discovered that Nic had emptied the entire remainder of the pancake mix on the kitchen counter and was driving several cars and a space shuttle through it. This was the mix that hadn’t fallen on the floor and through the boys toy boxes of course. I used the Dust Buster until it was out of charge, then vacuumed and cleaned…. oh joy! This is not the first time that Nic has made a sandpit out of cooking ingredients. Brown sugar has been used to effect a couple of times (see photo below). We will be very happy to have Paul home!
We were lucky to have a visit from my mother /Hazel / Nanma just after Christmas. Apart from Rowan in March, Mum was our only houseguest during 2007. Mum’s visit was a great opportunity for all to become reacquainted. The boys have not seen Australian family for a year – so were somewhat resistant to a ‘stranger’ in the house at first. Mum went to visit the newest family member in France before returning to Chicago. 

We were fortunate to have some mild weather while mum was here – allowing us to get out and about (rather than our housebound status at the moment) and show mum some of Chicago’s sites. We visited the beautiful lights at the Zoo, the Children's Museum, Navy Pier, Field Museum, Millennium Park, Institute of Art, Sears Tower, a new years brunch / birthday party, a first birthday party and a neighbourhood New Years get together. There were also some rest days for mum to get over her first and second cases of jet lag!

Looking forward to some more visitors in 2008. Next victim: Paul’s brother Arthur. 

Thursday, January 10, 2008

No white Christmas, but a Blanche New Year!

Welcome to the world, little Blanche Olivia Nobiron. 

It snowed before Christmas and it snowed after Christmas, but unfortunately, no snow on Christmas Day. This all became immaterial when my sister Jenni and her partner Sebastien became the proud parents of a little girl on the fourth of January. What an excellent way to begin a new year. 

It has been such a relief to poor Jenni who had been admitted to hospital a couple of months ago and since her release from hospital, was confined to complete bedrest… some confinement! While I am of the opinion that enforced bedrest would be an unbelievable luxury, it had been driving Jenni somewhat demented, having to wait while her ‘bun’ cooked. Some anxious times were had as the baby showed definite signs of wanting to come out early, but needed to be kept in to ensure all vitals were operational. 

Jenni and Sebastien agonised for some time over names that would work well both in French and English (as they currently live in France), seeking a third opinion from myself from time to time. Blanche is a family name from our mother's side of the family, Olivia is just cute and reminds me of Ian Falconer’s lovely range of Olivia books. 

The wait has been so worth it as the grins from the happy (and tired) parents attest.