March 25, 2009: On Monday morning, I made a major purchase on behalf of the whole family. A Club Med Trip to Turkey for Spring Break. My dreams have been in a beach location with waves, a light wind, toasty sun rays and a glass of chilly Pinot Grigio for many months now. And to have this vacation now planned is so awesome. I have never been to a Club Med, but Andrew says they are perfect for families regarding childcare options, entertainment, accommodation and food. Club Med, here we come! The girls are very excited. At first they were confused about why we would go on vacation to a bird. But I explained that Turkey was also the name of a country and did they know that Greece was a country, too, not just french fry lacquer? Completely amazed, they became even more excited about this trip. Our excitement is uncontrollable. Yay!
Monday afternoon, I met a new acquaintance for coffee. She had been at the English-speaking party we went to on Sunday and nicely called me the next day to meet up for coffee. She brought a magazine that contains a ton of stuff going on in Normandy that is geared towards children, as she knew I was struggling to find normal, typical things to do with the girls on Wednesdays and weekends. Trips to Mont-St-Michel and Christian Dior's gardens are nice, but impractical to do at all free moments. So, how nice of her to supply me with that information? When we parted ways, we made plans for Wednesday to get together with her and her daughter who is nearly 3 for a hike or adventure of some kind. It was really nice to have plans for Wednesday.
Then along came Tuesday. Tuesday sure did have some ups and downs! One of the ups was that our memory foam mattress topper arrived. It was just in time, too. Just that morning, Andrew was saying how this morning was the worst of all and how he could barely breathe because his back hurt so bad. In his mind, this mattress topper is the solution to all back evil. So what a very timely arrival! One of the downs was that when I arrived to school to pick up the girls, Grace had peed her bed again, during nap time. Now she is officially kicked out of afternoon school. Every day until the end of time (or the school year, whichever comes first) I must pick up Grace promptly after lunch to come home for the rest of the day. I don't know why this miffs me so much. I am not mad at the school, I get why this doesn't fit with the program. It's just that I KNOW Grace can do this, she did a whole week at home with no accidents. Maybe I am being selfish about my afternoons and how they are not my own anymore? Maybe I think Grace is doing this on purpose just to be able to come home in the afternoons and I don't like that manipulation. Or maybe I think she has a real problem with her bladder and I don't know the first place to start for help! I can't tell why this bothers me so much, but it honestly does. After extensive discussion with the teacher and one of the heads of the school, I asked if maybe Mia and Grace could be separated into different classes. They had told me that Grace and Mia call out to each other during nap time when all the children are sleeping and that they seem to be calmer and more obedient when they are not together. So I asked that maybe they be separated and see what that does? At this point, I am willing to try anything! More to come on that.
Tuesday evening we had a small dinner party here at our home with a co-worker of Andrew's and his girlfriend. So a fun part of my day was planning and shopping for our very first dinner party. I ended up serving Froi Gras de Canard that was topped with a fig and vin blanco mixture, a side of butter toasted Pan de Mie toasts and accompanied by a lovely Sauternes. For dinner I served Saint Jacques Scallops sauteed in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and sea salt along with some penne pasta tossed in a light butter and olive oil mixture with freshly sliced cherry tomatoes and an arugula salad with freshly sliced parmesan and a balsamic vinaigrette. I paired Chablis with the dinner. It all actually turned out quite yummy! I have come to the conclusion in the past few weeks that all you need in your kitchen to prepare food of any kind is a mixture or a portion of lemons, olive oil, sea salt, butter, fresh garlic and maybe some dry white wine and you are good to go!
Today being Wednesday, the girls had no school. We started the day by watching Madeline - Lost in Paris. After that I gave them all baths and then we played beauty parlor. I blow-dried and curled each of their hairs and then finished up with a tinted chap-stick. They were all rather pleased with themselves when they looked at the finished product in the mirror! This is when I realized how much time the three of them would be spending getting ready when they get a little bit older. Doing each others make up, curling each others hair, taking each other to the hair salon, picking hair styles out of magazines for each other. Too cute and totally imminent. After that, we planned to grab some sandwiches from our favorite vendor across the street and then eat at the park. But when we got outside, the wind was blowing and the air was very chilly, so we quickly ended up back at home to eat.
A few hours later, we met up with our new friends to go on a hike. We picked them up and then headed to our hiking destination just down the road. It was a fabulous hike, just long enough but not too far for a group of children aged 2 - 5. The hike took us to a very old church from 600 with lots of history, in the village of Thoan. We looked at old tombstones, the dilapitated stone church and lots of plants. After a tasty snack, we headed back to the car. The hike was nice but it did bring back memories of hiking back in Colorado. Typically, it is just Grace that says she wants to go "home" but today Ella said this, too, during our hike. Any many times since. After the hike, we were invited back to our new friend's home. Grace, Mia and Ella were so excited because they had tons of new toys at their disposal and their new friend was happy to show the toys to them. My new friend and I got a chance to sit down and chat and I decided she is a very nice person whom I am lucky I had the chance to meet!
This weekend we have been invited to a few events but I think we will probably go on an adventure Saturday and then attend a birthday party on Sunday. Tomorrow I will do some research on what antics could be in store. I can't wait to see!
Pictured above: Arriving at the old church on our hike, crossing a small stream, Grace standing in front of the old church door, the girls after we did beauty parlor today.