Noah 8 months

Noah,  I can't believe that you turned 8 months old next week.  This month you started growing out of your "baby phase".  The cuddly baby that was here just a few weeks ago is gone and has been replaced by a chubby giggly boy who cannot keep still!

This month you have been all over the place.  You love to roll onto your tummy and crawl across the room.  I use the term "crawl" loosely since you can only go in reverse at the moment, although you have become quite good at getting where you need to go.  When crawling backwards doesn't get you anywhere, you can always roll your way to your desired destination.  It is always fun to leave you somewhere and see how far you can get.

You can stand on your own now, although it isn't for very long.  You seem amazed every time you manage to get on your feet - especially when your brother is around and you see him from an entirely new perspective.  You still can't get into a seated position by yourself, but that doesn't seem to bother you too much.  You are still in love with your jumperoo and literally squee whenever we let you play in it.

You reached out for me this month for the first time and it melted my heart.

You are still babbling you way through life.  Your daddy swears that you say "Dada" and we let him pretend that he is right, although all of your babbles sound the same at the moment.

We are still nursing although I am hoping that this relationship ends soon.  It has not been fun for either of us.  You are still completely distracted and it takes us forever to get through it.  Now that you are back at daycare we are starting the weaning process.  I thought we could make it longer but I think this will be better for both of us.

You are also still devouring your food.  Even though you have no teeth you love to try everything on your plate.  We have started giving you cheerios and bread along with some baby pasta.  There is nothing that you've tried that you haven't loved.  You could eat all day long if we let you.  Your favorites are still broccoli and leeks and the fishes we gave you on vacation were a huge hit!

Speaking of vacation, you crossed another country off the list this month when we went to Spain.  You handled the heat a lot better than I thought you would.  You were also such a champ with the traveling. You got to meet up with a lot of friends who were so excited to meet you.  You saw the sea for the first time and you didn't complain a single time.  You loved being passed around between everyone and we were afraid that they wouldn't give you back!

Now we are back to our old routine and adjusting back to the early morning wake up calls.  I can hardly see what changes are in store in the coming months.

If you want to see my typical Nathan vs. Noah picture be sure to check out my FB Page
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WTF Wednesday - Canine edition

Have you missed me?  While I've been off work for about three weeks, last week we were actually out on a real vacation.  There was fun in the sun and many, many miles driven.  For now, we are back to the same old routine while the kids enjoy the last week before they go back to school.  I will be writing about our vacation shortly, but wanted to catch up with my "Welcome To France" Wednesday.

Today will be the canine edition.

That's a super cute dog, right?   Can you tell what is wrong with this picture though?

"Mommy why is there a dog inside a restaurant?"

No, that isn't a seeing eye dog, the French just love to take their pets everywhere- cafes, restaurants, shopping malls, grocery stores and the like.  There are very few places where pets are not allowed.  

Can you imagine going out to a restaurant and having people bring in their dogs?  Welcome to France.

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Dear Nathan....

Dear Nathan,

You continue to amaze me in everything you do.  I stare at you in amazement sometimes and can't believe you are mine.  I sometimes wonder what I have done to raise such a caring and gentle young man.  

Don't get me wrong, there are moments when you drive me up the wall, but that is just because you have more energy in your tiny little body than I can handle.  Where does it all come from?  You love bouncing and jumping all over the house, but you always take the time to give cuddles to your brother who is never too far away.

This month has been exciting.  You got your very first bike.  A running bike with no peddles which is perfect for you.  You love throwing on your helmet and pushing yourself all around the park.  Your love of the slide hasn't faded and your face lights up whenever you hear the word "park".

You have made lots of new friends at the park, and I am amazed at your genuine generosity.  You love to share your toys and you will play with anyone that is nearby.  I can only hope that you will keep this spirit and open heart as you grow up.

We are officially on summer vacation, so you've been spending a lot of time doing things you wouldn't normally do.  Your favorite is to go downtown and ride the carousel, although you properly call it a "manege".  You could ride that thing for hours, but I can always lure you off with promises of lunch and applesauce.

Your food taste have definitely evolved this month and you are finally eating other things aside from hot dogs.  You even get worried when there is no spinach in your smoothies.  I hope that this is a trend and no longer a faze.

You have started to make the difference between French and English and can tell us the name of things in both languages.  When we ask you the animals in French you can easily switch between the two.  Sometimes when you are switching back and forth, I forget how young you really are.  You sound like such a little boy, I have to keep reminding myself that you are only 2 1/2!!

You still love your books and love to read.  Your favorite is a French guy named T'Choupi that I have never heard of, I blame the daycare.  I also catch you singing songs in French and think it is so cute.

You are still an amazing helper in the kitchen, and now you come up and ask me to make things for you.  Of course "chocolate cake" or "gateau au chocolate" always seems to be the first thing you ask for.

We are off on a family vacation this month and I can't wait to see how you grow. I always see such amazing changes in you whenever we travel together.

We love you and are so proud of the little man you are becoming.

Love Always, 


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When the weather is crappy in here in central France, it is a pretty sure bet that it is beautiful everywhere else.  I call it Karma.

This is why we decided to run south on another one of our infamous long weekends in May.  My husband is obsessed with Montpellier.  If there was a superlative for obsessed, I would use it here.  I on the other hand, want to visit as much of France as I can before we have to go back home.

After the Marseille debacle, I didn't have much choice in our next destination.  I did suggest a neighboring town to Montpellier that way we could always escape if it was incredibly horrible, and that my friends is how we ended up going to Sete.

Sete is a small harbor town with lots of canals and bridges.  We jokingly called it the "Venice of France" until we found out that the French really do refer to it this way.

It was so great to see water and boats everywhere.  It is amazing how amusing this is to a two year old. He could have stared at the "bateaux" forever.

The town was small and perfect for a one day trip.  We explored all of it's nooks and crannies in just a day and half.

Although, Nathan's trip would not have been complete without a ride on a boat.  He eats up all of this touristic stuff, and so we went on our way.  Noah was thrilled.
We passed under bridges and out into the open water.  A little boy's dream come true.
The piece de resistance, however, was the Madeleine Store.  A store with a bazillion different kinds of Madeleines.  
My mom is crazy.  Get me out of here.

There were natural flavored ones, chocolate filled, orange flavored, the list goes on and on and on.

I was in heaven.  I almost had to be dragged out kicking and screaming.  *almost*

Oh.Em.Gee how many do you have?

  The trip was amazing and it was perfect for a weekend away.  Did I mention the madeleines?

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Getting Older {Sponsored Post}

If you want to know what was terribly wrong with Wednesday's picture, check out my FB page here.

Growing up in Arizona I was always in the sun, it was unavoidable.  When I went away to college, the "in" thing to do was lay out and bake yourself

While everyone always talked about the dangers of the sun college kids hardly ever listen.  If they would have told me however, that all of that sun exposure would age me so quickly I might have re-considered.

Now, in my early 30's I have signs of pre-mature aging.  I have sunspots on my cheeks and the the crow's have set up permanent nests in my eyes.  I'm always on the lookout for products that can not only protect me from further damage but help minimize the damage I foolishly did to myself.

My mom has always loved Oil of Olay and I remember sneaking some of her face lotion when I would visit over the holidays.  I fell in love with the "Complete All Day UV Moisturizer"and make sure to have a stock in my bathroom.  When I discovered "Olay Complete Skin Care Starter Trio Pack", I knew I had to have it.

This kit not only included my favorite lotion, but also a night cream plus an lathering cleanser.  I knew I loved the lotion, but I am always skeptical when I change products especially a face cleanser.

I should have known to trust Oil of Olay.  They definitely didn't let me down. My skin feels so much softer which helps hide some of my wrinkles.

The best part is that now I can buy all of this directly from the P&G E-store.  Seriously, there is nothing better for someone like me that doesn't have time to go to the store to hunt down some of my favorite products.  The great thing about the P&G E-store is that you can buy any of the great P&G products and have them shipped directly to your home, things like Dawn Dish Soap and Bounce Dryer sheets.

Not convinced:

From now until the end of August, you get 10% of your entire order off of your favorite products plus free shipping for any order above $25.

 There are also lots of great Olympic-themed bundles since P&G is an Olympic Sponsor!

While I am not being compensated for this post I am teaming up with the P&G E-store to not only talk about their great products but I also earn a small commission from all purchased made through my site.

Make sure to stop by and shop for your favorite products and get 10% off, plus with the free shipping you save yourself a trip to the store.

What are some of your favorite P&G Products?

Disclaimer:  I was not compensated in anyway for writing this post.  The opinions expressed are my own because I truly do love Oil of Olay.
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WTF Wednesday

It has been a while since I posted a "welcome to France" picture, so I thought I would get back into the swing of things today.

Here is today's picture. Can you point out what is so so terribly wrong? Leave me your best guess.

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Olympic Spirit

Here is a little known fact about me: when I was younger I used to teach gymnastics. It was far from lucrative but I taught the 3-5 year old class and it was very rewarding.

While watching the gymnastic competition on TV, Nathan got really wound up. He started jumping in furniture and flip flopping around the house claiming he was "flying".

In an effort to harness his energy, I started teaching him basic gymnastics. After his first successful summersault he was hooked. I don't know why it took me so long to try and teach him.

My husband was less than thrilled. He is too afraid he will snap his neck. So in an effort to keep the peace we have moved on to our next event - speed bike.

Have you been keeping up with the Olympics?

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A Day at the Park

Well, we've wrapped up our first week of our "stay-cation".  My husband is still working so I've been home with the kids waiting until that magic moment when we can all leave on vacation together.

I have to admit that staying home with the two kids has been more exhausting than I imagined.  I have to admit that everyday I just have the urge to turn on re-runs of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while we lounge in PJ's all day.

Although, as I sit in the couch drinking my coffee looking at the endless boredom on Nathan's face - I know I have to do better.

One of the great advantages of my neighborhood is the wonderful parks that are just blocks away and so we wake up early and head out before the sun gets too hot.

We begin with the big slide and I watch and cheer while he slides what seems like a bazillion times.  It doesn't matter if it is the first time or the 100th, the smile on his face never fades.

Then we make our way over the child's playground.  There he sees the other kids.  He gets to ride on different games.  He gets to play in the dirt.  He gets to run around some of that energy.

All of this while Noah and I sit on the bench cheering him on.

When the sun starts getting hotter - we make our way back home for lunch but not before stopping by the fountain to "wash our hands".

The entire way home Nathan talks about the park and all of the things he will get to do tomorrow.

We all get home exhausted and I am always so glad that I made the effort to take them outside.  After all, this is what summertime is all about.
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Hand me downs

I was the oldest of two girls, so everything I had was always shiny and new.  I was also a tad bit spoiled and would often get most of the things my little heart desired.

My sister is six years younger than I am, which means by that point my parents had gotten rid of all things baby.  All of her stuff was also shiny and new.

This notion of "hand-me-downs" was all so foreign to me because i didn't understand the concept.  Well there were times that my mom would give me clothes that my cousin (who was 7 years older) no longer wanted - but those would get shoved in a closet never to be seen from again.

Then I found out that I was having a second boy and the doctor exclaimed "at least you'll save on clothes".  No kidding.  I was ecstatic - I wouldn't have to buy of clothing!  SCORE!

I pulled out all of the baby clothes - washed and voila - good as new.

Then I started feeling guilty. I'm not sure why, since a lot of the clothes I had for Nathan were also "handed down" from a great friend (with great taste I might add) - but still the guilt was there.

I wanted Noah to have something of his own.  Something that I can give to him when he is older and say, "this was yours when you were a baby".  Something to feed my hoarder tendencies and shove in a closet for another 20+ years for the sake of sentimentality.

I ended up buying him a baby blanket - something that he wouldn't outgrow.  It was perfect for cuddling on those cold December nights.  It was his blanket.

Then, as if everyone knew what I was going through, Noah started receiving gifts - such special gifts.

My aunt from Mexico knitted Noah a blanket - just like she had done for Nathan.  It is soft and perfect.

His Godparents in Atlanta then sent us his birthday Elephant, with his name and birthday on the ear - along with a matching blanket.

I realized that while it might be a few years before Noah ever gets any new clothes of his own - he is loved and that is more important than living in "hand me downs".

Also, thank you to everyone who commented on my last post.  You definitely made me feel better about marking all as read!  I'm trying to catch up now, I promise.
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