Happy Feet

It has been a completely exhausting couple of days; mentally, physically, emotionally.  I don't have the strength or energy to try and articulate anything coherent.  With that said, Nathan did something AM.AZ.ING this weekend. He began walking!

While it has been frustrating the past couple of weeks with him refusing to walk, it seems as though he was waiting for this exact moment to fully walk.  He didn't want me to remember this weekend that was filled with stress and anger, but rather one that was filled with the memory of him walking towards his dad.  I love that boy.

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Hello, Friday

Can I tell you how thankful I am that it is finally Friday?  Seriously, what a week.  Although lately I find myself saying that a lot!

It was one of those weeks where worked just seemed to drag on and on!  The French have a knack for turning a one hour meeting into 2 1/2 hours.  I seriously don't know how they do it, but before I know it 1/2 my day is gone and I've accomplished nothing!

Luckily this week, our evenings have been stress-free and full of fun!  I am LOVING the stage that Nathan is at right now.  He is so much fun to play with, he is much more autonomous and we can actually interact. He still has his nights where he is a cranky mess, but don't we all!?

I'm so happy that we have another low key weekend at home.  I'm going to take up all of your suggestions and block off time to study.  The hubs is taking Nathan out on Saturday to do "boys stuff" and hopefully I will be able to buckle down and study.  The countdown to March 15th is in full effect!

But that doesn't mean that I will be a hermit all weekend.  There will still be pain au chocolate Saturday and some grocery shopping thrown in there.  Fun & exciting, I know you are all jealous!

Hopefully we'll also make another trip to visit baby Sofia and drop off some of Nathan's preemie clothes!  Since no one is ever expecting a premature baby, you are never prepared with the right size clothing!  Hopefully after this weekend baby Sofia will be able to wear clothes that actually fit, at least for the next couple of weeks!

On a side note, I was so completely depressed going through Nathan's baby clothes.  I couldn't believe he was ever that small!  Where did this time go?  I was so sad that he will never be that little EVER again!  I have to admit it kind of gave me baby fever, and a sudden urge to start hoarding all of the baby clothes.  Luckily Cornel was there to snap me out of it!  Seriously, what am I going to do when I really have to get rid of this stuff?  I think I'm just destined to become one of these people on A&E.

In any case, I hope everyone has a great weekend!
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Carb Therapy

As a working mom there are some days that make you sit back and question if it is all worth it.  Today was one of those days.

I had a meeting this afternoon to "meet" my new boss.  I had to go into a meeting and recount my entire life story and in French nonetheless.  I start with the fact that I transferred from the States and have been here for two years...yadda yadda yadda.  Before I get to finish my speech, he blurts out "ah, you're the one that is here because of your husband."

Really?  Is this what my professional career has amounted to?

No matter what I do, I'm always going to be the "wife" they had to find a job for because her husband was here.  The drawbacks to working for the same company I guess.

I would think that I would be able to get recognition for my abilities, my talents or capabilities.  But sadly, at my office, I'm my husband's wife.

So, feeling down after work we stopped by our favorite boulangerie, Maison Vacher.  Afterall, is there anything better than drowning your sorrows in carbs?  I think not.  And I find that fresh bread (much like wine) can make any day better!  They even gave Nathan his own beignet (donut).

Our day was looking up!  Nathan loves Maison Vacher. It doesn't hurt that the girls behind the counter are always telling him how cute he is.  We came home and finished our carbs in peace.

{the chubby shirt was pure coincidence}

Now that I'm coming down from my "carb" induced coma, I finally have time to reflect and be thankful. Even though the day started out a bit crappy, it definitely perked up after the office.

So this week, I'm thankful for:

{1.  Kindness of Strangers} The simple act of giving Nathan a small beignet brightened up our day.  Not because it was free {although it helped} but because it was just a random act of kindness.  They didn't have to do anything for us but give us our bread.  Just that little extra bit of attention makes me want to go back every single time.  Especially in a country where service is so underrated.

{2.  A job}  As I was so subtly reminded, I didn't have to be given the opportunity to work here and next to my husband {could you imagine living in different countries?}.  I could have been here unemployed which would have made our lives a little bit harder or we would have had to make due with an long distance marriage for a while.  So I'm thankful that we were able to be together.  Even if I have to be reminded of it daily.

{3.  Kisses & Cuddles}  I don't know what is going on with Nathan these days but he loves to give kisses and hugs!  Can this stage last a little bit longer please?

{4.  Daycare}  This is a crazy thing to be thankful for, I know.  This morning when we dropped off Nathan, he let go of our hands and made his way over to his friends.  He didn't even look back.  While it makes me a little bit sad, I'm glad that we are raising such an independent and social boy.  I'm glad that he has a place to go to grow & learn.

{5.  Carbs} I'm thankful for breads, pastas, rice and all around carb goodness!  'Nuff said!

Footprints in the Sand

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Some of you might already know that I'm an accounting nerd.  I studied it in college and became a professional auditor shortly there after.  Well, right before coming to France I sat for my CIA exam.  And no, it is nothing like the CIA's that do all that super secret spy stuff but rather certified internal auditor.  Like I said = nerd.

In any case, I ended up passing up 3 out of four sections of the exam and one month later I moved.  I changed positions so I wasn't auditing and basically had given up the certification.  Then one day I started thinking about things I would regret in my life and I thought back to the CIA.  I was so close to finishing and I just stopped.  I felt as if it was something that would hang over my head forever if I didn't get it done.  

So, I did my research and found out that I could sit for the final part of my exam here in France and in English!  I was so motivated that I paid the 200 euros, ordered my book for 60 euros and was all set to finish my certification.  Then the book arrived, and it sat unopened.  Life got in the way.  And very quickly the 180 days I had to sit for the exam started coming to an end. 

Then, last week it came.  An email from the board stating that I had to sit for the exam by March 16th or lose the 200 euros.  So, I registered.  I'm taking the exam on March 15th.  I still have yet to study.  I find it so hard to stay motivated.  I try to study during lunch time, but then the emails and phone calls come in and the book continues to sit unopened.  I tried to study this weekend and then I had Nathan coming over closing my book and playing with my notes.  It seems as if I'm doomed to fail before I even begin.

I'm really trying to get it together in the next two months!  So I'm asking for all of your suggestions.  How do you stay motivated?  How do you find time to buckle down and do something when life gets in the way?

Wish me luck!

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Pasta Carbonara

Ever since Cornel & I have been together, we've averaged about one trip to Italy a year.  {We're spoiled, I know}!

About once a trip {if not more} Cornel always orders Pasta Carbonara.  I remember asking once what the sauce was made of and heard "raw egg"; no thanks.  Although I should say that the heat of the pasta cooks the egg, so technically it is just an egg sauce.

So, last week when I asked Cornel what he would like to eat in order to plan my weekly "menu" he responded with "pasta carbonara".

I'm always up for a challenge, so I went searching for recipes and came across this one.

I had all of the ingredients, but I wasn't convinced.  So of course I had to tweak it a little until I came up with my own creation.  Instead of adding pasta water (which always seems icky to me) I added 1/2 cup of cream. {So not diet friendly}!

I have to admit that adding the raw egg to the sauce is more difficult than I thought it would be.  I wasn't fast enough in my mixing skills and there were tiny lumps of scrambled egg.  Oops.  Luckily it was only a few lumps since I seemed to get the hang of it after a couple of seconds.  Luckily Cornel didn't mind.

When we sat down for dinner, I was surprised that I actually liked the way it tasted.  I don't know why I had been so resistant before.  Raw egg and all.  I did ask Cornel what his opinion was compared to the "authentic" recipe and he did say that the sauce was a little to "liquidy".  So next time we will try 1/4 cup of cream and work from there.

This will definitely make another appearance on our dinner table!

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Weekend Wrap-Up

This weekend was supposed to be our relaxing weekend at home.  The weekend where we were going to get so many things done around the house.  The one where we would get to spend oodles of time as a family.  You know, a productive weekend.

Friday night, after a long week (sick baby, work deadlines, etc) I got into the kitchen and baked.  I made some banana bread that I was going to take to my friend Jovita who was 36 weeks pregnant and on bed rest.

While the bread was baking I whipped up and Italian Antipasto dinner.  Bruschetta and mushroom crostini.  Lots of things to nibble on while we drank some wine and watched movies on the couch!  I love being out my food rut!

Saturday morning, even though it was freezing, we headed out to breakfast.  We ate our pastries, had our coffees and enjoyed a great morning (my favorite part of the weekend).

Later in the afternoon I called my friend Jovita to see if we could stop by and visit her.  I had tons of gifts for her and the baby.  I was shocked when she told me she was at the hospital holding baby Sofia in her arms!  She was in a rush!  She was born small but perfect and beautiful!  If arranged marriages where still allowed, I would be picking her for Nathan!  We rushed immediately over to the hospital to visit!  Mom & baby are doing amazing!  I forgot how tiny newborns are!  Nathan seemed ginormous next to her!

After coming home we sat and reminisced about the time Nathan was a newborn.  Small and tiny.  It seems like a lifetime ago.  So, needless to say that not much work got done around the house.

Sunday was lazy, like most Sundays.  I woke up to a delicious breakfast prepared by my dear hubby!  I really hit the jackpot with him!  We stayed in our PJ's and played until well after noon.  And after a delicious lunch we headed to out to have coffee with Iliana & Jose.  I always love seeing them with Nathan.  He has so much love for them and vise-versa.  Nathan's face always lights up when he sees Iliana.  After a long Christmas break it was nice to catch up with them.  Hopefully we won't go so long before seeing them again!

And the rest of the Sunday was as lazy as it started.  So nothing got done that needed to be done.  Although there was lots of family time.  Lots of play time.  Not a single work laptop came out.  All in all, a great weekend!

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First of all, I can't believe I've made it to 200 posts.  What started out as a tiny little blog to keep my family informed has developed into so much more.

This week has been a very trying week both personally and professionally.  There has been some bad news on the work front while personally Nathan caught the flu.  There is nothing worse than a sick baby if only because you can't figure out how to make them better.  Cornel and I took turns staying home with him while the other one went to work.  Not the ideal situation, but thankfully we are given the opportunity to work from home.

This week there was somber news at the office from a colleague in back in the states.  His 26 year old daughter died of an aneurism while jogging.  26 years old.  What is worse is that this is the second daughter that he has lost to a tragic illness.  I cannot even begin to fathom what it is like to lose two children, or worse yet to lose two children that had so much yet to live.  It is the kind of even that makes you literally stop and think.  Even if you are not a religious person, it is one of those events that makes you stop and pray.  You pray for the family that has lost so much.  You pray for your own family.

We won't even talk about the nightmare that happened in my home state a couple weeks ago.

It is really sad that it takes events like this for me to reflect on all of the things that I should be grateful for.  I'm very quick to lose my temper, I'm always rushing around doing too much, I'm very impatient, and for what?

Does any of that really matter in life?

When I die, what do I want to be remembered for?  My amazing powerpoint presentations?  Probably not.  {although they are wonderful}

So what does this all have to do with being thankful this week?  I know it sounds all a bit depressing, but honestly all of this reflection has made me happy and thankful for :

{1. Life} Just being given the opportunity to get up each morning and be surrounded by people I love.

Thankful for every day I get to hug and kiss my baby while some parents don't have that chance.

Thankful to be married to the most amazing man in the world who is not only selfless and kind he also has a heart bigger than himself and has so much patience and love.  He is a wonderful father.

Thankful for all of my family and friends.

Thankful for this crazy, insane, chaotic, amusing, loving, wonderful life.

McGlothin Family Nest

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Happy Birthday to my Hubby

Saturday was Cornels' birthday and what a great day it was.

Since they were calling for good weather Cornel wanted to take us to Lyon to spend the afternoon, but not before Nathan and I gave daddy his gifts!  Nathan was so excited to give daddy his present, although I think he was more excited to play with the bag.

Shortly after presents we went to Maison Vacher to grab some coffee and pastries before heading out.  Nathan immediately grabbed the giant croissant as soon as it was put in front of us.  I think the croissant might have been bigger than he was!

After making it to Lyon, we walked around the downtown for a while before deciding to head out to lunch.  We went to a traditional "Bouchon" in Lyon and the food was delicious.  Nathan also enjoyed eating my soup and bread while he smiled at every passer-by.

Since Cornel is a computer nerd (and I mean that with love) we headed out to the Virgin Megastore where we let him pick out one of his gifts (pickins' are slim in Clermont).  Nathan had a great time in Daddy's mecca!  It was such a special moment for the both of them I'm sure.

As we continued or walk through downtown we came across the outdoor carousel.  When Nathan saw the kids and the horses he started squealing with delight.  So much for naptime.  So, we bought tickets and Daddy & Nathan went on their first solo ride.  It was a complete {SUCCESS}!

The problem with visiting Lyon with a "walking" toddler is that he wants to wonder everywhere and anywhere, especially places he doesn't want to.  In this case it was the downtown water fountain.  He made a mad dash towards the fountain and threw a fit when daddy tried to "steer" him away.  At least the pictures were cute.

After a quick trip to Starbucks {aka my mecca} we started heading back home, but not before making a quick stop at Ikea!  Nathan had a great time playing with this little toy thingies that they have in the middle of the store.

Sadly they didn't have any of the things we were looking for so at least we saved some money.  

I can't speak for my husband, but as far as Nathan and I are concerned it was a great day!

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I'm back

This past weekend we celebrated Cornel's birthday but soon after things got very hectic around here so I haven't had time to post the pictures.  Sadly this will have to wait until tomorrow, because today I'm going to talk about how I got out of my food rut.

Thanks to all of your suggestions I decided that something needed to be done.  I don't have a crock-pot (only because I haven't been able to find one here, and trust me I've looked), so all of those easy recipes were out of the question.  Instead, I decided to start planning ahead. *GASP*  Everyone was shocked because these words hardly ever come out of my mouth.

To begin I made a menu for the week and then made out my shopping list accordingly.  Who would have though that this system would actually work?  Not only that but that it could save us some money without spending too much on unnecessary things that I will later throw away.

In any case, when Cornel got back from the store I noticed he had bought a lot of zucchini.  I mean like 5 or 6 to the 2 - 3 I needed.  I instantly knew what to do with them.

Over Christmas break my friend Casney brought over some zucchini, pineapple apricot bread.  Everyone in our house kept saying how good it was but by the time I went to take a piece, it was {ALL GONE}!  Lucky for me that Casney was great enough to entrust her recipe to me.

So on a lazy Sunday evening I made the Zucchini Pineapple Bread.  The entire house smelled delicious and made the house feel so cozy.  Not only that, but it also looked delicious!

There was still the final test...the taste.  While in theory making this bread sounded like a good idea, this house is filled with two men {well 1 1/2} who don't like zucchini.  I was nervous that I would end up throwing this all away. 

Thankfully this was not the case and both Cornel & Nathan ended up loving the bread!  

This inspired me to keep going and later this week I'm trying out my hand and making Pasta Carbonara (Cornel's favorite).  Hopefully I can keep the momentum going!

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Night Out

January is one of the worst months for me & the hubs at work.  It means long days, long days and working weekends.  It doesn't leave much time for family or ourselves for that matter.  We make it an effort to spend time as family when we get home for at least a couple of hours before Nathan goes to bed.  But then, the laptops come out and it is back at it.

It has been mentally and physically exhausting.  This is why a night of drinks & apps with the girls sounded so tempting, but I didn't want to leave Cornel with the baby alone.  It was all too selfish.

That is why Cornel said that I could go, I was ecstatic.  He will have a "boys night in" with Nathan which is the sweetest thing.  Especially the first night of his birthday weekend.

I haven't been out with the girls in months and after a month like I've had I really need it.  Just a time to talk, laugh and unwind.  It is almost like a mini therapy session.

I am so grateful for:

{1.  A selfless husband}.  I have been truly blessed with this man!

{2. Great friends} that keep inviting me out even though I cancel 99% of the time (such is life with kids)

{3.  Great weather} while the US is getting bombarded with snow, we have been having amazing weather.  Even wearing a light jacket to work!

{4. Internet} to be able to keep up with my American shows while the hubs plugs away at work

{5. Sleep} Nathan is back to sleeping through the night for about a week.  There is truly nothing better.

{6. Kisses} Toddler kisses that are sloppy and wet are the best!

{7. Video Conferencing} where the grandparents get to talk to Nathan every Sunday, so they can watch him grow up even on the other side of the world.

{8.  Our Jobs} Is it my dream job? no.  Do I enjoy it?  Sometimes.  But it provides for our family and gives us the security to live comfortably.

McGlothin Family Nest

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Birthday Love

It is my husbands birthday on Saturday and I have been racking my brain about what to do!

You see, I have a condition called "Birthday Obsession".  I love all things Birthday, especially when they are not my own.

I love the cakes.  I love the presents.  I love the candles {although after I nearly burned down a house in Atlanta, this is ranking lower on the list}.  Everything and anything birthday related, I'm all about it.

My husband, on the other hand is what I like to call "Birthday Averse".  He hates anything having to do with birthdays {well, except the cake maybe}.  He hates having to do things for my birthday, but above all he {HATES} to celebrate his.  In fact, I think if January 15th were no longer on the calendar, he would {REJOICE}.

So, every year I'm stuck deciding on how to have the "perfect" birthday for the person who hates birthdays.  Let me tell you, it is not easy.

The birthdays past have tended no to live up to expectations.  There was the year when I had to hide presents/cake in the basement and try to sneak them up without him noticing.  FAIL.

Last year, I was lucky enough to have my mother in law here to watch the baby while the hubs and I went out to dinner.  We were both so sleep deprived and exhausted that we barely made it through dinner.  FAIL! {At least we looked cute}.

As for the presents I bought him, well they are still in a drawer UNOPENED!

[Side story]

Every time we walked into an electronics store, Cornel would always browse through the digital frames.  He always commented how much he liked them and how we should buy one.  So assuming he wanted one, I bought the nicest one I could find.  I mean we had just had a baby surely he'd want to have pictures in a convenient digital frame format.  WRONG.

[End Side Story]

So now, reliving the nightmare of birthdays past I'm completely nervous and stumped as to what to do this weekend!  One thing is for sure, the cake will be delicious and after-all, sometimes cake is all we need.

Do you do anything special for birthdays?

In completely unrelated news....I just joined twitter {do you see that pretty blue button on the left side of my blog}.  I mean, it's about time I caught up with technology!  So follow me, we can talk about fun things and you can share in my madness!
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Food Rut

I usually take great pride (well, pride) in cooking for my family.  Maybe not every night, but most nights at least also adding in a baby friendly meals for Nathan.  Lately though, I can't seem to get it together.  I mean for the past week we've been eating some sort of chicken with rice.

Chicken Stir-fry - with rice
White Wine Chicken - with rice
Garlic Chicken Pomodoro - with pasta (my *big* adventure day)

I really, really need to snap out of it!  I used to be so creative, now I'm making all of the same things over and over again.

The worst part is that now cooking has become a "chore" to me!  I really need some new recipes to {JAZZ} up our dinners.

I have been scouring the internet trying to find recipes to try and so far I have a couple of prospects.  Now if only I could find the motivation.

After getting home around 7 from work/daycare, the last thing I want to do is cook a meal that takes a long time.  Especially since I don't eat after 8PM {it's not a weight thing but a sleep thing}.

If only I could find the "helpers" here, you know the ones, tuna & chicken.  They could schnazz it up around here.

Maybe this weekend I'll get creative, but as for dinner tonight we had leftovers...chicken stir-fry with rice.

How do you stay motivated to cook?  Or better yet, what are some of your favorite recipes.
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Vacation Recap

Here we are at mid-January and life is getting back to normal.  Most people have taken down their Christmas decorations and have started getting ready for the new year.  We are no exception, what little decorations we had came down this weekend and our household has resumed normality.  Well, as normal as we can be anyway.

And even though most of you have put Christmas way behind you, I still haven't had a chance to write about our wonderful vacation back to Arizona.  I ended up flying alone since Cornel had to work {BOO} and I survived my first solo transatlantic flight with baby in tow.

I had {BIG} plans to drop off the baby with the g-parents and go and have a fun filled week in Atlanta, which after seeing how exhausted poor Nathan was I had to cancel {double BOO}.  I guess I will have to save this for another trip.

It was so great to be at home with my parents and having Nathan meet everyone.  It was also so great to spend time with my sister & her hubby!  Nathan absolutely LOVES them!

A week after I arrived, Cornel finally joined us.  My mom gave us the {MOST} amazing gift ever, a long weekend at a 4 star resort in Tucson while she kept Nathan!  It was amazing!  Talk about feeling refreshed.  We had romantic evenings by the beautiful tree, quiet room service breakfasts enjoying this view, and peaceful walks through the desert.  All without a diaper bag!  Heaven.  I should also say that this was my first time away from the baby since the day he was born.  {GASP}

While we were in Tucson we also took advantage to attend my beautiful niece Alexi's 3rd birthday party!  The party was held at the Tucson Children's Museum and it was such a great place for a birthday party!  There were several different room for exploring and everything was hands on.  I am not sure who had the most fun, the kids or the adults!

We also went to Mexico where Nathan got to meet even more Aunts, Uncles & Cousins and enjoy some authentic carne asada (grilled steak).  He really got into the spirt of things...check out my little Mexican

The rest of the vacation was kind of low key.  Nathan spent most of his time playing with all of his toys under the tree (way before Christmas).  We spent time catching up with old friends and spending as much family time as we could.  A few days before Christmas, my sister and her husband came down to join the madness.  I don't think there have ever been so many people in my parent's house.  We all couldn't wait to see what Santa had left under the tree.

Like most people we opened up Christmas presents and Nathan was the clear winner, although he had more fun playing with the wrapping paper and bags.  I need to keep this in mind for next year!  

Like most vacations it was over way too quickly and now we go back to adjusting to the day-to-day!

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Haircuts & Pancakes

Is this weekend really ending - it hardly even got started.  I guess that what happens when you work on Saturday and you only have Sunday to call a weekend.  While working on a Saturday is not my idea of fun, Daddy & Nathan got to have a nice Father-Son day out.

It all started by taking Nathan to get his haircut because let me tell you the boy needed it!  His hair grows like a weed and this is the fourth time we have had to get it cut in 14 months.  Since I was at work, I asked Cornel to take a before & after picture for me.  When I opened my email with the pictures I quite literally laughed out loud.  The before picture of Nathan looked more like a celebrity mug-shot.

So if any of you are wondering when it is time to cut your baby's hair, it is about a week before they look like they need to go to rehab.

Lucky for all of us the after is much better (please ignore my messy living room).

When I woke up today I wanted to go above & beyond in the "homemaker" department to get over the guilt of having worked on a Saturday.  So I was determined to wake up early and make these pancakes again, because we had brand new syrup to try out.

*Side story: Every time Cornel goes to the grocery store (even with list in hand) he always comes back with something completely off the wall that was never on the list.  One day he comes home and says 

Him: "I bought something and I want you to teach me how to drink it"

Talk about being intrigued.

I was really not expecting to pull out a bottle of maple syrup.  This are the moments when you realize how much fun an international marriage is.  He thought that like vanilla syrup for coffee, that maple syrup is something you mix in your drinks.  The train of thought made sense, but I hardly expected to be teaching someone what maple syrup was.

Me:  "You know the stuff you put on pancakes"

Him:  "Pancakes are like crepes right?"

I forgot that I was living in a land where Bisquick doesn't own the pancake market.  * [End of Side Story].

Unlike last time though, Nathan LOVED the pancakes!  Although his were sans syrup.  If only I had the motivation to make these more often.
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14 months

Well, here we are at 14 months and what an adventure it has been getting here.  We are still having tons of fun and loving every second of it. Well maybe not every second.  I feel like we are in such a better place than from when Nathan was a baby.  We are definitely more in sync {and yes, as soon as I typed this "bye bye bye" popped into my head}.

Nathan is becoming more independent and we can try to interact with him as a {albeit tiny} person.  I definitely feel that after 14 months I have it "more together" as a mom, I mean I travelled internationally with this little guy ALONE!  I don't think I could have done that before.

Everyday Nathan is learning something new and his mind is a little sponge and it is amazing to watch it work.

And now on to some fun stats....

Age - 14 months today

Height - I have no idea, he doesn't stay still long enough to measure him

Weight - Still around 10 Kgs - a little over 22 pounds

Sleeping Habits - It looks like my fears were realized this month with jet lag.  When we were in AZ it took him nearly a week to recover and since arriving it has taken him nearly a week to catch up; that is half of the month that he has spent waking up constantly during the night.  Yesterday, after what felt like would be our breaking point, Nathan went back to sleeping through the night.  Thank you God.  It was so amazing not to have to rock him to sleep for over two ours or have to listen to him cry it out.  I hope he keeps it up.

Eating Habits - Again, going to AZ was hard on his system and he didn't have the yummy gourmet food he was used to at home.  He was on a cheerio/milk diet for a couple of days.  He did enjoy his cream of wheat in the morning with a bit of honey and milk.

I do have to say that I was incredibly disappointed with the baby food selection in the states.  We stopped into Safeway to pick up some baby food for Nathan and all we could find was pasta.  Granted there were like 6 or 7 different kinds, but pasta none the less.

Lucky for all of us that his Uncle Matteo was there to cook him some delicious 5 star meals like yellow squash soup.  I don't know what we would have done without him there.

Teeth - There are no new teeth since last month, although his canines look like they are about to poke through very soon.

Milestones - His vocabulary is rapidly expanding and now he we can add Spanish words to his repertoire.  He learned how to say "hola", "gracias" {he is nothing if not polite}while he was at home with his grandparents.
His English is also improving and he loves to mimic us.  He can now say "okie dokie" and "up". There are many babbles which are hard to understand so we are not sure yet what language he is speaking in.  Although I'm sure there are some French words thrown in there.

He is still not a full time walker, and it is driving me crazy.  After a few steps he rather throw himself on the ground and crawl the rest of the way.  I can't wait for the day he just walks full time.  I really hope it come soon!

This month he also learned to blow kisses and he does it all the time.

It is truly one of the sweetest things ever!  And yes I'm biased!

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Crowns & Cakes

Are you ready for your cultural tidbit of the day? 

Today, some countries are celebrating "the epiphany" or the "King's Day".  Culturally, this is typically the day that most children get presents from the "3 wise men" and most people have the day off work.  I mean it was, afterall, the 3 wise men who brought gifts to Jesus and not Santa {shocking I know}! Some kids even leave food and water for the camels.  [End of cultural tidbit]

{Sadly} in France today is not a national holiday.  I guess this means I'll just have to make due with the other 18 national holidays. 

Since Nathan was spoiled over Christmas by the grandparents, there were no gifts waiting for him this morning but there was something even {BETTER}! 

What is better than presents? {CAKE}!  A galette du roi, king's cake, to be exact!  This delicious little pastry has been on sale since mid December and yesterday my DH brought one home and from Maison Vacher no less!  {It really is true love}.

There is nothing better in this world than french pastries, and the galette du roi is no exception!

This little cake has a tiny ceramic trinket hidden inside which one lucky person will find in their slice!  The significance of the trinket varies from country to country, but from what I know the person who finds the baby has to pay for the cake.

While Nathan could really care less about the tradition and the day; he did enjoy his first slice of galette.  What is even better is that they always give you the cake with these adorable little crowns. 

Because afterall, who doesn't want to be king for a day, or in Nathan's case prince.

King's Day could not have fallen on a better day, since it is Thursday.  I have been super cranky and tired since Nathan is still not sleeping, so I really need to stop complaining and be thankful for all of the great things that I do have.

{1. A wonderful husband who buys me cake} "No I'm not high, I used to be fat"
{2 - A happy & healthy baby} Even though he has been driving me bonkers at night his smile and laugh can melt my heart
{3 - Coffee} which has managed to keep me {somewhat} sane this week

And while I know there are so many other things to be thankful for this week.  I'm going to be thankful for the chance to get some rest so I can think more clearly next week!

McGlothin Family Nest

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Jet Lag Sucks

Do you all {y'all} remember when I complained about Daylight Savings Time?  Well having an infant with an 8 hour jet lag is a {BAZILLION} times worse!  I seriously don't think the bags under my eyes can get any bigger and coffee has been my only source of hydration. 

Over the past three days I have clocked a total of 10 hours of sleep {much more than my loving husband who has suffered more than me}.

You see Saturday night around 10 PM we finally arrived back home after three glorious weeks back in the states.  Nathan went down around midnight and we all crashed for the night.  Our {BIGGEST}mistake was letting him sleep in until noon the next day.  In hindsight we should have woken him up around 8 to make the transition earlier.

Sunday night he crashed around 6 PM and woke up at 2 AM.  He was ready to play.  We were less than thrilled.  We heard him crying in his room and tried to let him go back to sleep but after 20 minutes of hysterical crying we caved and took him out.  We tried to rock him to sleep - FAIL. 

In an effort to try and get some sleep before work the next morning we brought him to our bed to let him play and hopefully fall asleep - FAIL!  He learned how to jump on the bed.  He was crawling all over us.  When that didn't get our attention he proceeded to tap us on the face and pull our {my} hair!  He finally crashed around 4AM.  We were all exhausted. 

Monday, Cornel & I decided to come up with a "plan of attack" on how to deal with the jet lag situation.  One of us thought the best thing was to stay up with him and let him "play it out", while the other one thought that we had to let him know it was bed time and do our best to get him back down.  Monday night at 2AM when Nathan woke back up we had yet to agree on a method and chaos ensued.  We were both sleep-deprieved and frustrated.  In the end Nathan ended up playing until 4 AM - FAIL yet again!! 

I was beginning to think that Nathan was just screwing with us.

Since neither of our "methods" worked we decided last night was the night we would let him "cry it out".  What a bunch of bull!  He woke up at midnight {I consider this progress}.  I took him out of his crib and tried to rock him to sleep and gave him some milk.  He finished the milk and his eyes were getting heavy.  He even cuddled with me on the couch {which he never ever does}.  We thought we had won the battle over jet lag.

Stupid me.

I laid him back in his crib at 12:45 and he began crying hysterically.  We went to bed and the crying only got louder.  I told Cornel if he was still crying by 1:15 I would go in and pick him up.  He agreed.  1:20 came and the crying had not stopped.  I went in his room and picked him up {he was standing up just waiting - he knew I would cave}.  He didn't want to play.  He didn't want to eat.  He didn't want to drink.  All he wanted was for me to hold him; which is not easy considering he is 1/4 my weight.  Everytime his little eyes would close he would wake up crying hysterically.  I was at a loss. 

By 2AM I couldn't do it anymore.  I laid him back in his crib and let him cry himself to sleep.  Which he eventually did.

So now, we don't know what to do.  He sleeps most of the day at daycare and wants to do nothing but party all night.  I'm hoping he gets over this soon!!

Any advice on how to deal with a jet-lagged baby?
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Meilleurs vœux -Best Wishes

Am I the only one that feels like 2010 barely got started, and now I'm saying hello to 2011?  Really?  I guess it doesn't help that we celebrated NYE's on a plane somewhere over the midwest, so it never really felt like the year ended.  I stopped making resolutions because frankly I always sucked at keeping them which only led to depression when I realized I failed.

My dear husband is nothing like me {thank goodness} has made a small list of things he wants to accomplish this year such as finishing our bathroom renovation.  We should be so lucky.

As for me, I can only hope that 2011 is as good to us as 2010.

It was a year that was filled with ups & downs, a year filled with growing pains as we adjusted to becoming a family, new adventures and life in general.  The best part we survived and we survived as a family.  Let me recap the best of 2010...

1.  Celebrating the new year as a family of 3!
2.  Valentine's Day with my new favorite Valentine
3.  Our family trip to Paris
4.  Our family trip to Italy.  Extra special getting to see the Atlanta Boys & Matteo

5.  Our trip to Mont St. Michel.  It was a dream come true for me, and what is best we got to visit with amazing friends.
6.  The re-enactment of the French Revolution.  Vive la Revolution!
7.  Visiting Versaille
8.  Out trip to Spain

9.  Celebrating my first Mother's Day
10. Picnics in the Park
11. Beach time in Bulgaria/Romania
12. Four generations together & dedicating our son to God

13 & 14.  Birthday celebrations old & new
15.  By far...Christmas back home with family.

Happy New Year to everyone and meilleurs vœux (best wishes)

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