Friday, July 27, 2012

My baby is looking all grown up!!

Things are falling into place. The weather has even perked up a little and the kids are currently swimming with their grandparents at the beach. We are going to collect them today! My Chinese ayi is preparing the beds that we borrowed for them while our shipment arrives (slowly) and I started looking at how to take the Paris bar exams so I will be very busy soon. But for now, it's the vacation period and nothing is open. I can't even buy textbooks, but that's just as well because I am unlikely to be reading them at the beach anyway! Speaking of studying and school. This is a photo of Sophie on her way to school for a language assessment to determine which class she would be in next year. On her application, we had just listed her nationality as "French" and as Fabien showed up in school, they had just assumed that Sophie's mother tongue was French. So it was a pleasant surprise for the principal (who is English) to find out that she's also fluent in English. Given the school's academic reputation, I am a little nervous about the classes. I wonder if they will do too many things too quickly for Sophie to feel happy about school. We'll find out in a short while I guess.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The wheel has turned and we are back in Paris

Back in Paris with our lovely girls. Fabien is busy working in his new role and I am starting a new life here with the kids. Much excitement and angst, but nothing that some sunshine and ice cream near the Pompidou fountain cannot fix. This photo was taken after a marathon sofa shopping day!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Papa and Mama Bears with 2 adorable baby bears

Thoughts on 2010

It's been such a long time that this blog has laid dormant. I still do not have the heart to delete this blog (which was an original intention). It has morphed from being a line to the rest of the world to being just a quiet place for me to make mental notes to myself and anyone else who wished to benefit from the experience. Facebook killed the blog as a form of updating friends and family, but I think there is still some place for blogging as a way to record and share some of the reflections which are otherwise consigned to one's mental storerooms.

I think the biggest change for me in 2010 was the career switch from one form of law to another. I now call myself a climate change lawyer, and it's exciting stuff, but it is one of the biggest challenges of my professional life. Humbling, but exhilarating at the same time. However I am a little more circumspect about the fanatic in me about global warming etc.. My friend J calls me a munchkin because I used to be so excited about building windfarms or cogeneration facilities, or some new form of fuel switch, and corrected me to say that it is the wind farm developer that built the farm, we just provided the paperwork and the bankers got rich on the deal. Oh well, that is right to an extent, but I still feel a little bit good about the fact that we all played a part in the process.

The toughest thing is being a hands on working wife and mother. The juggle is incredible, and is one of the reasons why this blog is silent for so long. I just was so tired I couldn't think or reflect. Which in retrospect is probably a contributing cause to the fatigue, because we all need a purpose, and when I became too tired to reflect on my own purpose, then the daily grind leads to exhaustion.

When Fabien and I collapse into bed each week together (yes, he travels so much for work now we see each other on weekends only) we are too tired to speak, but I realise that it is a false economy of time, because it eats into the marriage after a while and we risk becoming room-mates and co-parents without being a madly in love couple that started our life together. So we realised halfway that we needed to keep working on it, and set aside time to re-discover each other again, because we are such time paupers yet our life is so wonderfully diverse and rich, and we have so many things to tell each other and share if only we take a bit of time (that we don't always have) to tdo it.

Speaking of the richness of life, the baby Alexandra is no longer a baby but a little girl, and Sophie is four years old going on fourteen. Yep we have a teenager in the making here. They are both asserting their independence in so many different ways, from the clothes they wear to the refusal to hold hands while walking and deciding to wander off by themselves!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Auguries of innocence - William Blake

To see the world in a grain of sand

And a heaven in a wild flower,

Hold infinity in the palm of your hand

And eternity in an hour.

Friday, May 21, 2010

My friendly kiddo

Originally uploaded by vacheorange
Alexandra is a real charmer when she wants to be. Here is the small one working her magic on this Balinese dude, at the temple, and Sophie is scratching her leg.

Whilst we love tropical holidays, there is always one micro-mili square that we miss when applying sunblock and repellent. And that will be the part that gets bitten. Poor Sophie - she is such a mosquito magnet.

I found out yesterday that Ally is allergic to some kinds of sun-block. Need to stock up on the hypoallergenic kind for her when we go on vacation - Badger Balm here we come.

Turn Left Turn Right

Originally uploaded by vacheorange
Anyone who has tried photographing children and dogs will know that it is highly improbable if not downright impossible to get them to do anything you want them to at the correct time.

Which is why I am so proud of this photo which I snapped in Bali at Chinese New Year (yes, I am very late in the uploading process).

Sophie and Alex managed to look in the opposite directions at exactly the same time, which is a scene out the Taiwanese movie "Turn Left, Turn Right".

We're going to France shortly for about a month. I am currently in the midst of baptism party planning craziness. I went and bought a hundred organza butterflies last week to display on the white tables that will be set up for the outdoor dinner. And some big balloons also. And party favours. It will be fun, and I hope Alex will appreciate this when she grows older. Sophie's baptism was a quiet and family-only affair.

Alex will be a rollicking party. This is due to a large amount of parental- guilt (self inflicted) for not paying enough attention to the Number 2 child, as Number 1. I think Alex has much less photos and parties in her honour than Sophie does overall. So we decided that if we throw a party for her, then we might as well do a really big one. And we so invited all our friends and family, to celebrate Alex's special day. There will be about 80 people coming, so it will be quite a party !

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Just Happy in the playground

Originally uploaded by vacheorange
Sophie is growing so big and strong, she swings like a monkey from the bars. Alex on the other hand is just at the age where she is strong enough to get into big trouble, but not yet aware of how dangerous it is. There are photos of Sophie and Alex getting as much legitimate fun out of a playground as can be had. There are of course no photos of my kids in the midst of clearly inappropriate usage of playground equipment usually because I am busy yelling "get DOWN from that"