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Friday, April 29, 2011

friend's visit day three...

For my friend's 3rd day (Saturday) we all headed out to Montmartre to see Sacre Coeur, tour a bit of Montmartre and then Pigale (Red Light District - where The Moulin Rouge is located)

Baby Model

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

3 day easter weekend!

In France the Monday after Easter is a holiday (called Easter Monday) and F had off of work!

We had an action & fun-filled packed weekend:

Saturday ~ we enjoyed Jardin d'acclimatation which is a sort of theme park for children.  It is located in Bois de Bologne (which is the other Central Park type park just outside of Paris - located in Neuilly-sur-Seine which is a very nice and expensive suburb of Paris.  It is only 3 euros to enter (M was free - children under 3 are free).  They have amusement rides, animals, train that goes through parts of Bois de Bologne, water park, lots of jungle gyms for all ages, pony rides, baby gym (Gymboree), a Korean Garden and a Puppet Theater where the famous Guignol & Company perform.

We met some friends at Jardin d'acclimatation for a picnic and exploration of the amusement park.  I believe it was their first time there also.  Their 5 year old had a great time.  

We are so lucky to live near metro lines that go directly to Bois de Bologne and Bois de Vincennes (largest parks in Paris).

Sunday ~ was Easter of course.  I had dyed some eggs for M so we could have an American style Easter Egg Hunt.  It turns out it is also a tradition here in France (normally with chocolate) but F's parents got into it and also decorated their own "brown" eggs ;-)  (we were lucky to find some white eggs).  F said after the hunt that his parents never painted or decorated eggs for him as a child (just hid chocolate eggs).  But grandchildren are different aren't they ;-)?!?

Here are some pictures from the hunt...M did so great and he understood immediately what to do. We kept telling him that the eggs were hidden (caché) and he should search for them (cherche!). He was walking around with his basket saying caché and cherche! very cute ;-)

M also received his first tricycle on Sunday.  He couldn't figure out how to use the pedals or how to steer...but he had a good time with his Papa pushing him around the garden and at the park.  We decided to get him the tricycle before his birthday since we are having exceptionally warm weather so early in Spring.   And to prepare him for a fun-filled summer of biking around while on vacation.

Monday ~ was a day of relaxation for all and golf for F.  He enjoyed a long awaited break and 9 holes of golf.  He came back relaxed and happy.  This 3 day weekend was just a taste of relaxation so our countdown for our June and August vacations have officially begun! 

What did you all do for Easter weekend?  We hope you had as much fun and made new memories like we did!


Friday, April 22, 2011

friend's visit day two...

Day 2 of my friend's was an action packed day in the 16eme and 7eme arrondissements.

First stop ~ Parc du Champs de Mars, The Eiffel Tower and Trocadero (great photo op up there!)

Second Stop ~ a ride on The Bateaux Mouches - scenic tour of The Seine River

View of most of the beautiful bridges on The Seine ~ Pont Alexandre III

Great view of The Eiffel Tower on the boat tour

Stop Three ~ Les Invalides (Army Museum) where Napoleon is buried (we did not tour the Army Museum but it is a beautiful building not to be missed)

Stop Four ~ Rodin Museum...we just toured the grounds for 1 Euro great deal! We were short on time plus some of the main works are outside the mansion...would be better later in the spring when the flowers have bloomed but still and nice and relaxing tour

The Thinker

The Gates of Hell


Thursday, April 21, 2011

potty training part 1...

So after M's 12 month (really 13 month - July) check up with a French Pediatrician...he told us we should start potty training.  The doc explained that the whole 2-3 years old idea of Potty Training was a ploy by "Pampers" and "Huggies" and that babies in 3rd world countries are potty trained by the time they reach 18 months.  Mostly because of the cost of diapers and there is no reason why a French (well really dual American) baby could not do the same.  Doc said to try once a day at the beginning and then slowly increase.  We thought he was nuts but went ahead and bought a potty while in the Suburbs visiting family one weekend.

We decided to try it when he was about 14 months (September) after vacations.  It was hit or miss...just if he happened to need to go when we put him on there.  We did this for about 2 months (putting him on the potty either right when he woke up or after breakfast).  We never did increase it as he did not seem to "get it" and actually sometimes he refused to sit.

Then in November I had my accident and sprained both ankles leaving minor things like potty training to the wayside.  At that point we decided maybe it was good to give him a break and try again after our  3 week US vacation in January.  So February (19 months) we started again this time trying to use the M&M method (a friend suggested it).  He was NOT having it and mostly refused to even sit for more than  5 minutes. When I explained he would get a M&M as a reward he would only concentrate on the M&M and cried the entire time.  Positive Reinforcement really is not this kids strong suit ;-)

I know he is still under 2 years old and maybe he is just too young.  Since they do say boys take longer. 

So today (22 months tomorrow) we are trying again.  This time without a diaper!  When I was in the US I was sure to pick up some "Cars" underwear and plastic training pants.  I am so glad I got those "Cars" underpants because M is obsessed with the movie right now.  He has a Lighting McQueen Action Figure, The Book and The Movie.  It is all he talks about.  So when we put those undies on this am and explained it was not a diaper and he should not pee or kaka on McQueen.  Because he will not like that he has not so far.  Mind you I have been taking him to the potty every hour or so.  And no refusals and no accidents!

I am not sure if it is my consistency (it probably is that) or that he understands now. 

Grossness at your own risk ;-)

If you were wondering technically how it is going...When he woke up (7:30am) we put the training pants and underware on him.  After breakfast he did a #1 in the potty (8:30am).  Asked him at 9:30am if he needed to go again.  No accidents.  He did go pee a little bit and made a big #2.  I will be asking him every we are nearing the next bathroom break in about 15 mins or so.  Wish me luck today!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

feels like summer in Paris!

It has been 26 degrees C (78 degrees F)past few days with lots of sunshine. It feels good opening up the windows and going to the park everyday with little M.

All of a sudden he is really enjoying the jungle gyms (slide in particular) and the sandbox. It makes going to the park so much fun now! He is getting better at climbing stairs and is very proud of himself! Enjoy the photos (Photos taken at the small square in the middle of Richard Lenoir near Bastille in the 11eme.  It is near where the local Open Air Market is on Thursday's and Sunday's.  There are multiple jungle gyms for the different age groups)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

friend's visit day one...

After a long flight from the US my friends actual were up to exploring the city a bit

We walked to BHV, Hotel de Ville, Notre Dame and Bastille

View of the BHV next to Hotel de Ville
Hotel de Ville - City Hall

Notre Dame Across the River

Notre Dame Front
Notre Dame Front View
Notre Dame Interior Rose Window
Notre Dame Stained Glass
Notre Dame
Inside Notre Dame
Bridge with Locks of Love