This past week has made me think a lot about my "old" relationships and "old" friendships.  I had a great weekend spending time with Laura, who I considered at one point one of my best friends.  Throughout the years, for various reasons I have lost touch with so many people who were once such an important part of my life.  People that have helped to "mold" the person I am today.  As toxic as some relationships were, they help to turn you into the person you are today.

There are so many people that I wish I could apologize to for being dumb and young.  For losing touch.  For keeping grudges.  I hope I have become the type of person who has grown enough to learn from my mistakes.  There are people I have reconnected with and have come to the realization that we no longer have anything in common.  That while great friends in the past, our friendship is just that, something great from the past.  And sadly I realize that there will be people in my present that will someday fall into this category.

There are some other people like Nate, Cansey, Stacey and Leilanie, who even after years of not speaking to each other, it was as if we had never lost touch.  We were able to pick up right were we had left off.

And then there are those friends who you meet and it feels like you've known each other forever.  Those people that you know if you ever need them they will be there for you no matter what, people like Brent.

I am a person that is a firm believer in the fact that everything happens for a reason.  Those people who are truly my friends (and you know who you are) are some of the greatest people in the world.  I am so grateful and thankful to have each and everyone of those people in my life.  Those that have stuck with me through the good, the bad and the ugly you are more than friends - you are family and for you all (y'all - there I said it)...I am so thankful.

Other things that I am so thankful for this week:

1.  A smiling laughing baby with three tiny teeth
2.  Having the opportunity to reconnect with old friends
3.  Small glimpses of hope to keep us going day by day
4.  Waking up to freshly brewed coffee in the morning
5.  A husband who indulges my craziest whims (such as DIY invitations)
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Visiting Versailles

After saying goodbye to Laura and Hiram we headed out to visit the Versailles Palace just outside of Paris.  Believe it or not, it was my first trip there (and yet another thing I get to mark off the list)!  It was supposed to be just a short day trip on our way back home, and little did we realize how eventful of a day it would be.

To start off - the line to get into the Palace was long - I mean wait for hours just to buy tickets long.  And so, trusting our better judgement we decided to head over to the area for the guided tours where there was NO line and it was only one extra euro for the behind the scenes guided tour - BONUS!  I definitely suggest going this route if you are ever planning on visiting Versailles. 

Aside from the nice tidbit of buying the guided tour ticket we also learned several other things on this trip.

1. Always have a baby carrier in the car.  You never know when they will tell you that the stroller is not allowed and you will be forced to carry an extra 8 KG's (18 pounds) for 2 1/2 hours.  Trust me it felt more like 16 (36 pounds) when he decided to fall asleep and we had to take him up and down stairs (and by we I obviously mean Cornel)!

2.  Even when waiting for an hour in a place with a bathroom and various changing table options, our son will choose the moment right before we embark on a 2 1/2 hour tour to poop.  Forcing his father to sneak away into a dark corner of a historic staircase to change his diaper.  All while avoiding security cameras and guards.

3.  Tour guides do not look favorably on sneaking into a famous toilet in order to sit on it an take pictures.  A big "faux pas", so just don't ask.

4.  It will take you longer to stand in line for the bathroom than it did to tour the castle, eat lunch and drive home, especially if you are a woman.

5.  Signs politely asking you to "Keep off the Grass" in two languages, with a detailed picture - are obviously only a suggestion.  This is especially true when the dancing water show is about to begin!

6.  After exhaustion sets in from standing in line for the bathroom the best way to recuperate is to rent an electric car to take you around the gardens.  When a car is not available - rent the bike.  Especially one that comes with a baby seat and helmet for your little one.

7.  When your child begins crying hysterically in the middle of bike ride - it is because he has chosen yet another key moment to poop.  This time making sure to spread it all around his diaper to make the changing that much more FUN!

8.  Don't ever pass up the opportunity to take a picture with King Louis.  I have a fascination with Louis XVI (i think that is 16th, right?) and Marie Antoinette ("Let them eat cake!").  I happily took this picture with the statue thinking it was Louis 16th (you know the one that had his head chopped off), but only because I am to ignorant to know that XIV means 14 and not 16.  A great picture none the less!  I'm sure this guy was important too!

9.  And of course, when you live in a country where it is hard to find a good cup of "american" style coffee to NEVER and I do mean NEVER pass up an opportunity to visit Starbucks.

If we ever are back in Paris we will be sure to go back to Versailles.  This time skipping the castle and spending more time in the gardens and visiting the home of Marie Antoinette (which is seperate from the great big palace).  I hope the second visit is as memorable as the first!
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Old Friends, New Adventures

A couple of weeks ago I received a message from my friend Laura saying she was travelling around Europe and was spending a week in Paris.  We normally don't  make a weekend trip up to Paris since it is rather far (3 hours by train or 4 hours by car) but since I hadn't seen Laura in over 12 years we decided that we would make the trip.

Laura and I have known each other since pre-school but it wasn't until high school where we truly became close friends. 

Sadly, like with many of my oter friends, life and distance got in our way and we lost touch.  This is why it was so nice to catch up and see each other after so long.  Especially since there aren't too many other people from our tiny town in Arizona who make the trip to Paris, or at least none that let me know so we can catch up.

We met up with Laura in the early afternoon and headed out to see one of the few landmarks that I haven't ever seen, The Pere Lachaise Cemetery - you know the one where Jim Morrison is buried.  While normally I don't really think of walking around a cemetery as a tourist attraction, it was fun to see so many beautiful gravesites and famous people (just writing this sentence made me realize how morbid it all sounds). 

The trips to Paris wouldn't be complete without a trip to the Sacre Coeur and the Eiffel Tower.  I still don't understand how on his second trip, Nathan still managed to sleep through Paris!  Proof that his kid can and will sleep through anything even the mob of people and cars wooshing by this famous landmark.

The night ended with a traditional french dinner of Boeuf Bourgignon (I can seriously never get enough) and some wine.  It was so nice to catch up with Laura and recap over the past 12 years.  It was so nice to be able to be with her and her husband and they toured the country we now call home.

The day ended much too quickly, and we had to say goodbye since we had to start heading back to Clermont on Sunday morning.  Hopefully it won't be another 12 years before we see each other again!
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Nathan's getting Baptized

In just 2 1/2 short weeks we will be officially be on vacation!  This is not just another vacation this is our big summer vacation - you know the one where we are forced to vacate the country because it practically shuts down the entire month of August!  That vacation.  Last year we were lucky enough to go back to the States to visit Nate and Brent in Atlanta and then fly to Arizona to visit my parents and of course have a baby shower!

This year we will be on our way to visit Cornel's family in Romania.  And because it is not a vacation without stressing ourselves out with some sort of project or event we will be having Nathan's baptism.  I suppose that I was in complete denial that August has arrived so quickly, especially since it hasn't felt like summer has started (it was jacket weather again today).  But alas, it has and now we must begin the crazy task of planning a baptism from hundreds of miles away.

My sister-in-law Alina has been wonderful at planning and finding a church and a restaurant, but now comes the ever daunting task of details!  Today I put together the invitations to print and mail out by the beginning of next week.  Again, this is the part where you lie to me and tell me how wonderful and professional they look.  And of course the part where you reassure me that they do not look like they were hand made on my Mac.

And then there are still the details, like choosing favors to give away, pictures, menus, etc.  But like everything else I am sure these things will work themselves out.  Sometimes it is hard to take my head out of the details to try and focus on the big picture.

I should be focusing on how grateful I am.  Grateful and thankful for:

1.  My amazing sister-in-law who has selflessly taken on the task of organizing Nathan's baptism celebration for us.

2.  Having chosen Alina and Cristi as the godparents to Nathan - he is one lucky baby to have such wonderful people to care for him and love him.

3.  Even though we are living far away to have the chance to introduce our son to God in the presence of family and friends.

4.  And of course, the 42 vacation days they give us here in France to allow us to take an entire month of for vacation.

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It's not summer without Focaccia

Have you ever had a fresh tomato, mozzarella and basil sandwich on fresh focaccia bread?  You should it is absolutely delicious and one of my favorite summer time meals because it is not only light but also cool and refreshing.  On our last trip to the store we bought lots of fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, but there was just one thing missing - the focaccia.  Even though fresh baked bread is in abundance here, I haven't been able to find focaccia in the French bakeries (imagine that) and so there was only one solution - make my own!  Especially since I have endless amounts of yeast sitting in my cupboards.

I seriously have no idea what is wrong with me.  Living in France has turned me into a completely unrecognizable person - a person that cooks and bakes.  And we're not just talking out of a box baking or cooking but from SCRATCH.  Someone better get me back home soon before Cornel starts getting used to the "new" me!!

But back to the subject at hand, focaccia.  When I search (i.e., google) for recipes I always include the word easy.  Why?  Because frankly, I don't have the time or the patience to be dealing with a complicated recipe that has a million steps that take 3 hours, when an easy one can do the trick.  It may not be as "gourmet", but seriously who am I trying to impress?  Cornel is just grateful that I step foot in the kitchen so the expectations are always low.  If I should ever master the easy recipe, then maybe, just maybe, I would attempt a more difficult one.

And so by searching for an easy recipe, I came across this one, which not only claims to be easy - but the easiest!  We'll just see about that!!  I enlisted the help of Cornel because I thought it would be nice to spend some quality time in the kitchen.  And check out the finished product??

Can you believe how pretty it turned out (this is the part where you lie and tell me how wonderful and profession it turned out)?  I added basil on the top for a little extra flavor.

The verdict - yes allrecipes the recipe was easy (I haven't tried others to vouch if it is truly the easiest), but it was a little lacking in flavor.  The next time (and there will surely be a next time) I will add some salt to the batter (is it batter or dough?  I better brush up on the lingo) - because trust me it needs it!

The good news is that I won't spend another summer without this delicious treat!
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stay at home mom - Day 2

It's funny how even when you stay at home, Mondays feel like Mondays.  I was so unmotivated to get out of the house and do anything and so Nathan and I had pajama Monday. It was so much fun.  We stayed in our PJ's all morning and just played.  While Nathan took a nap I prepared a delicious lunch for Cornel complete with homemade meatballs, rice and cream of cauliflower and potato soup as a starter.

After Nathan woke up from his nap I tried to feed him his beef with broccoli, but he wasn't having it.  Lately he HATES the spoon and the mush I feed him.  I can't blame him, I mean it's mush.  Although he has eaten it before and loved it, so I'm thinking it's teething related.  He cried and fussed and being the sucker that I am, I gave him a bottle.  I didn't want to do it, since he is supposed to have 3 meals a day, but I caved.  He knows how to bring on the waterworks and it breaks my heart.

After lunch we continued with pajama monday and Nathan helped me put together his baby book.  He is quite the little helper.  When he went down for his afternoon nap, I was determined to give him something to eat other than the mush since he wasn't going to eat it and the cycle from the morning would surely begin again.  I went to an old stand-by favorite, sweet potato.  I put it in the Baby Cook and forget all about it.

When Nathan woke up, I tried feeding him the steamed slices of sweet potato and he LOVED it.  He wouldn't even finish eating a piece before he opened his mouth and shoved in another piece.  It is so sad to think that in just 4 short months we have gone from eating mush to finger foods!  How did this happen?  I got so emotional seeing this baby boy that is quickly not becoming my baby anymore!

I received a call from Cornel that he would be home late and wouldn't be able to stop by the bakery (boulangerie) to pick up bread.  We have become extremely spoiled in France and stop by and pick up some fresh baguettes everyday (it is a mystery how we have not gained 500 pounds with all the carbs we shovel away).  And so, Pajama Monday came to an end.  I got Nathan dressed and we headed the 2 blocks to Maison Vacher (my favorite place is this world).  I didn't have the energy to carry the stroller down four flights of stairs, walk the two blocks and then carry stroller,baby and bread four flights back up and so I decided to carry Nathan in my Sleepy Wrap.

I love the looks I get when I walk around with Nathan.  He loves to look at the people and smile and "talk" to them.  I got stopped twice by very nice older ladies who just wanted to play with him.  As a mother you always think that your child is cute but it is so nice to hear from random strangers.

I wish that I could be a stay at home mom more often.  I got to be there for all of the little things in Nathan's life.  I heard him babble "ba ba ba ba" today, which I had never heard before staying with him. I got to be here the first time he ate finger foods.  I was able to sit with him and practice clapping, ABC's, walking.  I realize that being a stay at home mother is so much than just "staying home", but about shaping and molding and sharing in the upbringing of your children.  It makes me a bit sad that I have to go back to work tomorrow.  I am going to miss Nathan so much but I will be so much more appreciative of the time we spend together!
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Finding a Hobby

Lately Cornel has been working some insane hours (nights and weekends) trying to get a big project done, and so I have been spending a lot of time alone.  This led him to believe that I needed to find a hobby.  Apparently, sitting on the couch watching American television on the internet does not count as a hobby (who knew!?).

You may remember that a couple of weeks ago I borrowed a sewing machine to make Nathan's daycare pillow - and well I got bitten by the sewing bug and I decided to make sewing my new hobby.  Last Saturday we set out in search of a nice (yet economical) machine for me to "learn to sew".  We found this super cute Singer and I fell in LUV... isn't she pretty ?

I have to admit that I based my descion soley on price and the super cute butterfly on the side.  I haven't named her yet, but I'm thinking Sally.  Although I am open to suggestions.  And so then came the dilemma, what to make with my new "toy"?

I had some spare fabric from the pillow and some velcro and so I decided to make a snack bag.  In an effort to be more granola-y and green I decided to make a snack bag so that I would haven't to use ziplock baggies.  I lined the inside with plastic and added his backwards ironed on name tag and voila!

Please ignore the crooked seems...I'm a beginner.

This was a nice way to spend the afternoon while Nathan napped and Cornel worked.  And while we are on the subject of good ways to spend your time.... as always spending Saturday morning breakfast as a family at a cafe downtown.

I love that they make jogging shoes for babies ... completely unpractical but oh so cute!

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Stay at home mom experiment - Day 1

Usually when I have a day off work it is for a reason - vacation, appointments, etc., but this weekend I have two days off with my only intent being taking care of Nathan.

My maternity leave lasted until he was nearly four months old; so I used to be a "stay-at-home" mom, but it was winter and we hardly left the house.  Also Nathan was so small that we were limited in the kinds of activities that we could do anyway - other than pooping and sleeping Nathan had very little other skills.

And then the big question...what do I do with an 8 month old?  I don't know anyone who has children Nathan's age - so play groups were out.  There are very few if any activities such as gymboree here in France, and so I thought we were doomed from the very beginning.

After breakfast, I got Nathan and the diaper bag ready.  We were going to the park!  We would have a good time!  And then Nathan got cranky, it was time for his nap.  No park.

Shortly after 1:30, I decided that since Nathan was awake, well fed and happy that now was the perfect moment to get outside.

We had a great time.  At this very moment my life was complete.  I LOVED spending this time with Nathan just the two of us.

And I think my son has a love for photography.  Possibly a future career?  Who knows...but the following pictures are courtesy of Nathan....

The walk back was miserable.  Up-hill - in the heat = exhausted mommy.  I thought I was going to die.  Luckily Nathan was in his shaded stroller sipping on some water = heaven.

I got him out of the stroller, folded it and proceeded to carry him up four flights of stairs!  WHY on earth do we live in France a fourth floor walk-up?  By the time I made it to our front door I was about to die.  Nathan thought this was hysterical because he was kicking his legs, smiling and squealing.  Apparently 8 months is not too young to taunt your mother.

If we lived in a house with a pool we would have gone swimming, but we don't.  And so I provided the next best thing  - the poor baby's swimming pool.  I filled his tub with cool water, dropped in his pool toys and let him go to town.

He splashed and kicked until he nearly fell over of exhaustion.  I took him out and he nearly passed out before I put him into bed.  This is the aftermath of a mommy and son afternoon!

All in all - I think my first day as a "stay-at-home" mom was a success.  I hate that we are alone and don't know very many people to get out and do things with. Monday will be Day 2 of my experiment and hopefully it goes as well as today.
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Mommy Moment

Even though Nathan is 8 months old I haven't had very many "mommy moments".  I wasn't one of these women who the second that my son popped out I instantly had this maternal instinct.

I was terrified.  I had no clue what I was doing.  I was exhausted and sleep deprived.  I missed human and adult interactions.

I love my son and I love being a mom - don't get me wrong, but I didn't have this instant love or feeling of motherhood.  It has been a process.  A process of getting adjusted to the "new" me, but it wasn't until tonight that I truly felt a love of motherhood.

Nathan usually falls asleep right after his bath, but not tonight.  He was crying and it was breaking my heart.  We usually try to go in and soothe him but let him fall back asleep on his own but tonight there were actual tears.  It was breaking my heart and I didn't know what to do.  I couldn't just let him keep crying and stand by and do nothing and so I picked him up.

I sat down in the rocking chair which I haven't used since Nathan was about four months old.  I held him in my arms and I began to rock him to sleep.  He put his arms and head on my chest and after a few minutes he began closing his eyes and pretty soon he was out.   I put him down in his crib and he has been sleeping ever since.

It wasn't until this moment that I truly felt like a mother.  My son needed me and I was there.  The day will come when he won't want hugs or kisses from me so I am so grateful to have a night like tonight where I can still hold him in my arms and kiss him.

I am so thankful for "mommy moments", a beautiful sleeping baby and for this new evolution into motherhood.  I hope the journey only gets better from here on out.

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Vive la Revolution

...or long live the Revolution!  Today is July 14th...Bastille Day here in France; the day the stormed the Bastille Prison and began the uprising against the monarchy to create the first French republic.  In other words - it's a day off work!

A small near-by village, Murol, reenacts the events leading to the storming of the Bastille including the arrest of Louis XVI and Mari-Antoinette and finishes with the guillotine.  I think if there is something missing in our 4th of July is a guillotine!

Last year we stayed in Clermont-Ferrand for the festivities and were highly disappointed.  So this year we headed out right after breakfast.

Even though I'm convinced that Nathan is pure nobility (he is the king in this household), he was shouting and fighting with the revolutionaries.

He was definitely one of the youngest (and if I can be completely unbiased - one of the cutest)!

Since the morning started out so great, I had made tortilla espaƱola (Spanish omelette), we took some roasted bell pepper and a baguette (what else) and had a small picnic at the park which had an amazing view of the Chateau de Murol (Castle of Murol). Nathan had some delicious beef and carrots made with love by moi.

We also tried watermelon but that was a big FAIL.

The afternoon turned cloudy and we decided to call it a day before the rain storm hit.  I am still 0 - 2 on watching the beheading of Marie-Antoinette but it was a great day to be with the family.

Let them eat cake!!
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Shopping Fun

We had been putting off going to the grocery store for days.  It is one the task I hate the most and usually I can convince Cornel to go in my place.  This usually turns out to be a disaster.  I send him list in hand and he comes back with his interpretation of the list.  In no way is Schweps grapefruit soda comparable to Lemonade or Gingerale.  I really shouldn't complain, since I know what I am getting myself into when I avoid going to the store.  I can also be assured that he will come back with a few "extra" items, such as an action DVD, toys for Nathan, etc. etc.

This week we put it off until Sunday.  This is super dangerous in France since very few stores are open on Sunday and if they are it is only until noon.  Luckily the store just a few blocks away is one of these stores, and so on Sunday morning we packed up Nathan and headed to the store (it was also nice to spend some time in the air conditioning). 

Usually we go to the store after work and Nathan is usually sleeping.  This means that we usually have to take him in his stroller in order not to distrub him.  But since this was Sunday morning and before his nap he was wide awake.  This meant that he would get to take his first ever supermarket cart ride (or buggie ride if you are in the South).

Last August before Nathan was even born, I had picked up this super cute blue cart cover for just this type of occasion.  It has riden around in our trunk for months.  Literally months.  I was so excited to get to use it for the first time.  First things first - how the heck does this thing fit in the cart?  There were straps and elastics and pockets. Wow! I was really sorry I had thrown out the instructions last year, I didn't imagine it could be so complicated.  It aslo didn't help that the carts are not the same size in France as they are in the states.  Luckily Cornel figured it out and we were set!  I was so excited to put Nathan in the cart!

He had a great time.  The one problem with Nathan being in the cart is that the world was within his grasp.  When I say world, I of course mean everything on the shelves he could wrap his little hands on, including the magazines at the check out line.  I didn't have enough hands to put the things down before he picked something else up! Ahh, the joys of motherhood.

I am also surprised that of all the kids riding around in carts at the store, Nathan was the only one in his cool little cover.  I am starting to wonder if these type of things even exist in France because he was getting some rather strange looks from other parents.  Whatever the case, I can't wait to take him on another ride.  The excitement of the cart ride tuckered him out and he went down as soon as we walked in the door!  My little baby is growing up so fast.

And as a side note:  Please don't forget to vote for me if you enjoy reading my blog!  Thank you so much.

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My son has a giraffe, her name is Sophie.  Maybe you've heard of her?  I hear she is all the rage in baby toys back in the US.  I also hear she is expensive, at least $16 -20.  Here she is simply Sophie and she only costs about 7€.  She's a french toy and is not trendy - but popular.  She has been around forever, and most French people I encounter tell me that they have had their own Sophie growing up.

What makes her so special? Supposedly she is made out of all natural rubber and edible paint.  Who really knows.  She is special because Nathan loves her.  She has been there from the day he was born. Aren't they cute together?

Sometimes it's a love-love relationship like when He sucks on her nose, her ears, her paws (are they called paws on giraffes?).

Sometimes it's a love-hate relationship like when he throws her on the ground, slams her against things and pounds on her just to hear her squeak.

Whatever the situation - they are always together.  It has been his constant companion and his comfort while he's been teething.  This giraffe has seen the world with us...we've taken her to both the North and South of France, she's been to Italy and she made the trip with us to Spain.

It was on this faithful trip to France where Sophie was giraffe-knapped.  Straight up STOLEN!  It is beyond me why someone would take a baby's toy.  A plastic giraffe nonetheless that has been in someone else's mouth, but alas she was stolen.  I don't know who was more devastated, Nathan or I.  It turned me into a horrible person; casing other people's strollers to see if I saw a giraffe;  giving the evil eye to all the little kids I saw walking around as if maybe they had been malicious enough to steal the giraffe.  I mean, what would I do if I saw her?  Accuse that mother or child of giraffe theft?  I obviously had not thought the plan through.

Nathan's innocence had been robbed that day and he didn't even know it.  Our hearts were heavy and a grey cloud hung over our heads.  Neither I or Cornel could speak about how we could have let our son's most prized possesion disappear.

We never found her, and so, on our return from Spain while at the market replenishing the fridge we bought Sophie #2. This giraffe had become the vane of my existence.  I truly feel like I spent more time looking after the giraffe than Nathan.  Always asking Cornel, "do you have Sophie?", "is Sophie in the diaper bag?", etc. etc. 
We had this idea to tie Sophie on to Nathan's wrist, but who are we kidding - it took the little guy five seconds to figure out how to take off the velcro.  The plus side is that now it is so super easy to tie Sophie on to the stroller, the carseat, the diaper bag, my purse.  She still runs the risk of being stolen, but it will be a little trickier than just picking her up.  It is so nice to not have to worry about the giraffe ending up on the floor either!  So now, with Sophie #2 in place and well contained all is well with the world again!  Plus she just looks so cute now with her new accessory, because after all, all girls deserve one great accessory!

Hopefully she will stay put this time because I don't think this household can handle another missing giraffe.

This post was originally written in June of 2010.

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On Thursdays I like to remind myself what I'm thankful for, a way of getting myself back to reality.  I love to complain about things, a lot, and so on Thursdays I like to take the opportunity to remind myself of all the great things that I have going on in my life.

All week I've been sick - miserable sick.  I haven't felt this bad since before Nathan was born.  Go figure - 8 months of winter I never got sick, one month of summer and I'm out of commission!  All I've wanted to do all week is crawl into bed and sleep and wallow in my misery - but this was obviously unrealistic.

In spite of my head wanting to explode, being unable to breath and talk - I wake myself up every single morning - get ready (not without whining and complaining about how crappy I feel) and go to work.  The one great thing about having a stuffy nose is that my French has improved significantly.  I can finally pronounce all those crazy nasal sounds which are so hard to mimic otherwise.

The worst part about being sick is not being able to take care of Nathan.  He has never been sick in his short eight months of life and I do not want to be responsible for his first cold.  I could not imagine having him feel like I feel.  And so, I have been trying to keep my distance from my irresistible little boy.  I try not to feed him and always try to sanitize and wash my hands before I touch him.  I limit my kisses and try not to keep him too close for too long.  It breaks my heart.  He reaches out for me and I can't hold him like he's used to.  No goodnight kisses- nothing.  I think this is hurting me much more than it is hurting him.

This is why, today, when faced with what I was thankful for I found it hard to focus on the positive.  Being a sick mom is the hardest thing in the world.  You still have a little person depending on you and, unlike work, you can't call in sick from being a mom. 

This got me thinking as to how I survived this week and the answer was simple.  What would I do without Cornel who has stepped up and taken control of the situation?  He wakes up extra early in the morning to make Nathan his cereal, gives Nathan his dinner, his bath and plays with him non-stop.  Somehow during all of this, he still finds the time to make me homemade chicken soup and puts up with my cranky over the top moods.  I am truly one lucky girl.

He doesn't even complain when I curl up with him on the couch when he is trying to watch the World Cup (although I'm sure he'd wish I would leave him alone).  And while we are on the subject of the World Cup, I am so happy that Spain pulled off a win!  I am really hoping for a Spanish speaking winning team.  And besides, Nathan just looks to darn cute in his little Spanish soccer shirt!

And so, even though it has been a horrible week, I guess I really am thankful for many things, such as: a great husband who takes care of me and baby when i'm sick; homemade chicken soup; and quite cozy family time on the couch, even if it is with a stuffy nose. 

And of course, I'm thankful for my friends that click on the cute little brown button on the top of my blog! ;)
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8 months....

Already?  I really want Nathan to stop growing up so fast!  We are already on the downhill to his first birthday! There is so much to do and so little time.  I just assumed that Nathan would stay a baby for so much longer, and now he is turning into such a little man!  This month, like every other month, is going to be a busy one for us and then we will be on vacation for the month of August, and before you know it, it will be September. 

Ok...ok, I have a habit of always getting ahead of myself.  I remember the time I said "the summer is almost over" and before the summer had ever officially began.  I really need to start living in the moment and stop thinking ahead to all the things in the future.  They will be here soon enough, and I feel like I'm missing out on all the small things that happen day to day.

As for Nathan, he has changed a lot in one month.  He is still not crawling.  He is still making absolutely no effort to crawl.  I think he is perfectly content just staying put and letting us bring his toys to him.  Hopefully this month we'll make some progress into making him mobile.  I know, I know - be careful what you wish for.  As for what he has been up to the last month:

Age - 8 months old today

Height - I have no clue.  Since he doesn't go back to the doctor until next month, we might not know until then.  I guess we could make some effort to measure him at home, but since he hardly ever keeps his legs still, this task might be more frustrating than it's worth.

Weight - See above.  There is no scale in our house, nor will there ever be, so we might be out of luck on the weight thing until next month as well.  I can still carry him up four flights of stairs in the morning and the evenings, so he is still in the OK weight range in my mind!

Sleeping Habits - Still sleeping through the night.  He has become a kickboxer at night and we hear his crib rattle when he lifts his legs and pounds them down at night - sometimes to the point of waking himself up.  He usually falls right back asleep, so I'm still considering this sleeping through the night.  We did have the one terrible night after our long day at the airport where he was on his newborn schedule.  He was so tired that he woke himself up every two hours.  We would hold him and rock him back to sleep.  It was heartbreaking to not be able to do more.  Lucky for us, it was just one night.

Eating Habits -  Watch out everyone, we have a carnivore!  He LOVES beef!  He hates fish and most definitely hates chicken, but he loves beef.  We made him a mix of beef bourgignon with sweet potatoes and he loves it.  I guess getting him to eat protein is not at all a lost cause.  He is now up to three solid meals a day but is still having 3 bottles a day.  I'm hoping to slowly start reducing the number of bottles and slowly start increasing the amount of snacks he has a day.  He loves his Nestle teething cookies, and would eat those all day long if we let him!

Teeth -   We have ONE tooth!!  It just came out of nowhere.  One day he had no teeth, and one day he had one tooth.  It sprouted up on the bottom left.  He is very protective of it and won't let us look at it - but we know it is there.  He is biting on everything and anything!  I thought that teething would be horribly unbearable experience with lots of sleepless nights and fevers (as I had read about), but it wasn't so bad.  He was cranky during the day and refused to nap but this was the extent of the teething madness!  I consider myself lucky, very lucky!

Milestones - We have a sitting baby!  No more tri-pod baby that topples over every time he moves his hands, but a real sitting baby.  One day he was wobbling and required massive supervision while sitting (or at least tons of pillows surrounding him) and one day he was just sitting, normally and moving all around to grab his toys.  This makes life so much easier.  We can sit him down on his rug with his toys and do simple tasks around the house - like th dishes.  We still keep the boppy behind him for fear of him toppling over, but he hasn't yet.  Now if we could work on crawling.

He is now wearing clothes from 6 -12 months, although today we tried to put on a 12 month onsie and it was a bit snug.  We are aslo moving him up to size 4 diapers!  He is growing up into such a big boy!

We took our first airplane ride this month.  He handled it like a pro, mommy did not, but that is another story.

And because those are a lot of words with not a lot of pictures, below is a small montage of the birthday boy this morning wearing his adorable 8 month onsie.

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