Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Home for the Holidays!!

We are counting down the days until we leave for Pennsylvania, two more! I am so excited to go home for Christmas, I can't wait to see our family and friends! We are keeping busy here in Paris. I am working on a couple Christmas presents that need to be finished before we leave and trying to get all our stuff organized for the trip. We also have to give lots of extra love to our poor kitties who will spend Christmas alone.

Julien is being a super baby, he is sleeping all night (other than waking to eat) and napping during the day. He is really starting to notice things around him. He can grab his toys and loves looking in the mirror although I am pretty sure he doesn't know what he is seeing. Josh's coworkers bought him a toy that he lays on and things dangle in front of him, he loves it! He is able to hold his pacifier and get it into his mouth which is great for me! He is growing so quickly, he is almost 15 pounds now.

Last night we went to the Champps Elysee to see the lights. They were amazing but it was so cold! Julien was all bundled up so he was warm except his little eyes were exposed. He was so interested in all the lights and everything going on around him. He usually sleeps in his Bjorn but last night he was wide awake and looking everywhere. He kept turning his head from side to side to see everything, it was so cute. Josh took a million pictures of the lights from all different angles. We were going to ride the ferris wheel but it was just too darn cold. It was great to get out of the apartment even for only a few hours. I am really starting to get stir crazy here!

I think we are tentatively planning to go to Brickside (in Exton) on Saturday December 29. Our friend Clay will be playing live. We still have to verify a baby sitter but we should be able to work something out. If anyone wants to come by we will probably head over sometime around 8, I believe Clay goes on at 9 or 10. We probably can't stay much past twelve but it will be great to get out AT NIGHT and see our favorite guitarist in action.

I am not sure how many posts we will get up while we are in the US. Probably not too many since we will be visiting our biggest readers. We might post our Christmas letter in case we missed anyone or had the wrong addresses. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and we can't wait to see you all in a few days!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Quick Update

We finally finished our Christmas letter, now we just need a picture with Julien paying attention. We are going to try tomorrow and if we can't get him looking at the camera we will just go with one we already have. Hopefully we will get them in the mail Monday!

I spent all day yesterday baking Christmas cookies which is rather challenging with a baby. I did manage to bake them while he was napping and/or in his swing. I had visions of him needing my attention and me burning all the cookies. Baking always makes me want to be back home in a real kitchen. I have become quite talented at using the washer as a counter and cooling cookies all over the apartment. I have even mastered turning the cookies to accommodate my oven's "hot spots" but oh how I long for next Christmas, hopefully in a larger kitchen with a calibrated oven!

We are headed home next Friday for 16 days! I am so excited to go back to the Pennsylvania and see our friends and family. We really want to see as many people as possible while we are home so please email me, with your availability if you want to get together. Josh needs to go the office a couple days but besides for that we are free.

We have started the process to move back to the states by getting an estimate on our apartment. It was lower than we hoped but I guess that is the way it goes sometimes. We plan to put our apartment on the market in Janauary, hopefully selling it quickly so we can start looking for a house in Pennsylvania. Our plan is to be back in the US by June of next year. It takes at least three months after the buyer has secured financing to do the transfer of an apartment in France. I can't wait to find the perfect home in the US where Julien can grow up and have wonderful memories.

In other news it is really cold in Paris which makes going outside less than desirable. I bundle up the baby and he is fine but then we get in a shop and it is too warm so he freaks out. I am not really coordinated enough to get off his outer layers while he is strapped on me in the Bjorn. Taking him out of the Bjorn is not a possibility as there is no place to set him down. We had quite a scene in the Monoprix yesterday but luckily it was in the morning when it is mostly other mom's shopping so I didn't get too many evil stares. Speaking of Julien I hear him stirring in his crib, I think we will have a little "tummy time" then lunch (I have learned lunch before "tummy time is not a good idea!).

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Trying to Make A Christmas Picture

If you don't think we have your address, send it to us! A Christmas picture is in the works!

Of course, all three of us will be in it! But we have to keep it a surprise!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hotel California

After our "rustic" cabin in Joshua tree our next stop in California was heavenly. We arrived at "Chez Keller" on Tuesday and stayed until Sunday when we returned to Paris. We were greeted at by our host Jennifer and her assistants Will and Holland and of course the grandmother extraordinaire, GG! We quickly got settled into their beautiful home.

Not only does Chez Keller offer a lovely guest room complete with a baby bed they also have many amenities. There is a fantastic pool with a lovely spa along with a fire pit and beautiful scenery. Inside they offer a flat screen TV (often tuned to football but offering movies and children's shows also), baby swing, and on this occasion cooking lessons. During our stay I learned some fantastic new "Thanksgiving" recipes and Josh learned the fine art of turkey BBQ (at least that was the excuse for hanging out with Matt by the grill).

The Keller's also provided us with a great continental breakfast along with two fully stocked fridges and anything else we could think of to eat or drink. They also arranged excursions for us, from a fantastic wine tasting to a "boys" night out. They were fantastic hosts and we can't wait to return the favor in April when they come to visit us in Paris.

We also spent some time visiting Josh's sister Kristin and her husband Scott as well as their children Chelsea and Eric. Josh's dad Mike came along and we all went to lunch together after spending a few hours at their home.

We also had the chance to visit with Pops and Grandma at their house. We didn't have too much time because we had to catch our plane but the few hours we did spend were quite nice.

When we weren't being entertained by family we were taking advantage of the GG's babysitting services and getting some time to ourselves. We mostly shopped but we did manage to squeeze in haircuts and a few lunches. It was nice to relax a bit without the baby since we don't have that luxury in Paris.

We had a fantastic time in California, it was great to see everyone and to be back in the US. I am already counting the days until Christmas when we will go home to Pennsylvania and see my family as well as Josh's parents and all of our friends. We purchased our tickets and plan to arrive on December 21 and stay until January 6. I hope we can see as many people as possible!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Photos From California

This is the cot Julien got on Air France.
Gena and Juju on the plane.
Waiting in the Air France lounge before the flight. People gave us our space.
Warming up for the flight! Everyone wants a happy baby!

The kids and Jennifer.

Jennifer makes the boy smile! And laugh.
GG and Papa Mike see Julien for the first time in, uh, 3 weeks? :)
Happy times on the bed!
Pam with our baby boy.
GG and baby Julien.
The four bombshells:
Papa Mike and GG.
The Kellers and Julien.
Kristin and the baby. She wouldn't let him go! It's easy when he likes her so much!
Papa Mike and Chelsea
Julien reaching for and playing with the yellow kitty. He missed his kitties at home!
The Thanksgiving dinner!
Potential Jedi's hone their lightsaber skills.
The Force is strong with these young ones.
Pam and the Thankgiving baby.
Are we popping GG?
"Pop it in the oven!" Julien likes to pop things in the oven.
GG, Will, Holland, Julien. Looks like Julien is popping things in the oven!
Holland and Julien
Will and Holland and Julien