Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Last minute rush

A million things to do today before we leave. So how do I spend my morning? In front of the computer reading through my blog roll. But I have to brace myself for holiday- 2 weeks with no internet access. I figure I may have the shakes for the first couple days, B has been instructed to tie me to the bed and shut the door if I start screaming for a fix, threatening to break in to the hotel office and grab a laptop. Actually, the entire island of Malé has free Wi-fi access which is good to know. If it comes to that.

So my dear sisters came to my rescue and I won't have to worry about taking any of the clothes back. At least that is one thing I don't have to worry about today. Besides, at least that stuff fits. Last night I started going through a box of summer clothes and realized that lots of it is too big for me now. I guess the Pilates has helped and I have lost a bit of weight since Christmas but I was surprised to find skirts literally falling off me. And not completely happy about it either. I quite liked lots of that stuff. I could take it all in to the tailor to have taken in, but that would require lots of confidence that this is a permanent weight loss. Also, that is lots of work and the surest way to get fat again.

Speaking of which, B and I took advantage of our baby-less house and decided at the last minute to go out for dinner last night. First B called to ask if I wanted to meet him at Baan Boran, on rue Montpensier just off the Palais Royal, our absolute favorite Thai restaurant in Paris (and apparently, Jacques Chirac's fav Thai as well. His photo is on the wall, and our friends saw him there on more than one occasion.) On the metro ride over, my mouth started watering as I imagined the gorgeous green papaya salad. So I met B at his office, we ran to the restaurant as it had just started to rain, and when we got the door I remarked "Good thing you reserved. It's almost completely full." Thats when B told me he hadn't reserved, finally, since it was a Tuesday he decided that there was no point in calling ahead. Well, of course there wasn't any table free. I could have murdered him! I was practically fainting from hunger, we could smell, practically touch, the green papaya salad on the table in front of us, and rather than sit down to eat, we had to go back out in the rain and tramp around looking for another place to eat. Lucky for him, Maceo was just around the corner and I had been wanting to try it for ages.

It was a nice meal- the food was gorgeous. I had the vegetarian menu and loved it. Everything tasted really fresh and like itself, if you see what I mean. It wasn't smothered in sauce, but all the flavors were really interesting and well thought out. The way the same ingredients kept coming up in all the different dishes makes me think that this restaurant must mainly do "market menus" every day- change the menu based on what looks good at the market. Its good to know of a restaurant like that, which is quite fancy (by which I mean that it is a tablecloth restaurant, not that it is particularly snobby in any other way. I take that back- it does have a very long and snobby wine list. Easy enough to overlook though when they have a nice list of wines by the glass/carafe) although reasonably priced (I think the veggie menu was 30 euro for 3 courses) and does creative vegetarian food. I hate when veggie friends come to visit just because I feel like such a disaster when I can't find somewhere nice for them for a dinner out. The only bad thing about the place is that there is no background music and the lights are quite bright so it seems like an old person restaurant.

So- off to tackle today's to do list. Post office, book store, sun screen store, shorts for B store, actually pack bags. And if I am a very good girl and get everything done, we are going to the movies tonight to see La Mome. Or Dreamgirls. Bald howling French lady or Beyoncé? Tough call.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Mommy and Daddy doll

Almost finished up the mommy and daddy dolls- I am going to put them in the mail tomorrow morning after I finish stitching up the bottom but didn't they turn out cute? The transfer paper has a shiny finish, which I don't like, hence the glare, but otherwise it was really easy to do. Once I got our heads photoshopped onto the paperdoll images that I found online (Queen Holden designs, for anyone interested in that sort of thing) it went really fast. I hope Ella likes them. I did one set with the stitches really close to the edge of the design but the dolls ended up being too skinny and sausage like. They actually seem a bit more cuddly with the wide border around the image. Anyways, even if she doesn't end up carrying them around much, I think that these two dolls will be around for awhile. I can just imagine how funny it will be to bring them out again one day, when B and I are old and gray. We'll probably laugh so hard we pee our Depends. If that isn't worth a few afternoons messing around on the computer, I don't know what is.
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Second decision

This is a dress I bought last week in my shopping spree, I think its Manoush? I absolutely love it and anyone who knows me would definitely say that this is typical Nicole. Its really fitted under the bust, with elastic in the back and a zipper up the side. Wish it was a teensy bit shorter but otherwise I consider this perfect.

The real choice is between the two cover-ups. They are the same brand but this one is a sort of crinkled cotten and the other is a jersey. They are both shedding sequins EVERYWHERE which is driving me mad but nothing to do about that. The description online said that some sequin loss was normal. The tan and gold one is really sweet I think but it doesn't actually match any of my swimsuits. So I should keep the black one, right? But it will probably be too hot for the beach. Also I don't like that the slits go all the way up to my hip. Since it is long, I wish that the slits were only thigh high and then I could wear it to dinner at night. This has always got to be worn with something underneath to actually be clothing. So if its just a beach cover-up, wouldn't it be nicer short (besides, I think it hits me at sort of an unflattering length)? Only whats the point of buying something new and immediately chopping it up? But I would probably wear the black and silver more often, even long. I think. I'm not sure. Because look, the first dress I love is beige-y, and it really matches my new sandals and maybe my new summer capsule wardrobe could just be beige based? Also, not photographed, is a really beautiful beige linen and cotten sweater that I found shopping last week with a deep V.

This is all a bit silly- the resort we are going to is really low key. If we were going to a really chi-chi hotel, I might just keep it all, since I would get a chance to wear it all. Maybe I should just keep the sandals, send everything else back and find a nice sarong to match my swimsuit. That would probably be the most reasonable thing to do. But where is the fun in that?
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My big order just arrived

And I need some help deciding what to do. After my spur of the moment shopping spree last week I have too many things for vacation, or more importantly, too many of the same thing and I have to decided tonight what stays and what goes. First of all though- I love how net-a-porter sends such nice packages with everything wrapped up nicely with bows and tissue. And look! They sent a little book with a pen (I haven't actually taken the time yet to see what it is, but I am sure it's great and will give me hours of entertainment.)

The K Jacques shoes are perfect and I am definitely keeping them. In fact, I wish I had ordered another pair. They fit great and are absolutely the kind of summer everyday sandals that I will wear to death. Actually, I ought to buy a second pair since they are on sale right now.

The first problem I have are the two white dresses I bought. This one is DVF and I think it is too long- but otherwise the fabric is fantastic and soft and its very beachy. Its just that on the model they showed online, the dress was more like above the knee, so I am probably about 20 cm to short to be wearing this. I think it makes me look short.

This second dress is Paul and Joe Sister and it is a really light cotton with tons of pleating around the neckline. I really like the tunic styling when it is loose, I think that is very summer 2007. From the front I love it, but I think that there is far too much volume in the back. So I belted it like I saw it online. But I wanted something easy to pull on over my swimsuit and its no good if I always have to belt it. Again, maybe I'm just too short for it? Make your choices- and if my sisters are reading this, please let me know ASAP if you want me to keep something to send to you.

Also, sorry the pictures are so crap but I was trying to do this fast and getting a bit irritated with my timer.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Packing Ella off

We should be leaving for the country in about an hour- I think I have all of Ella's stuff packed up (three bags, plus stroller and carseat and diaper bag. That kid does not travel light). I still need to do a bag for me, since I'll be staying til Tuesday maybe. Hopefully B will be home a bit late so I have time to finish everything off. I'm sitting here at the computer despite the last minute rush because I forgot to make up the mommy and daddy dolls I had been going on and on about. That doll that I posted a picture of? Too weird so I went and did a new one for me that I think turned out great and a really funny one of B. I spent this afternoon in photoshop trying to get rid of his stubble. It was sort of throwing off the little boy vibe that I was going for. I lost the transfer paper at some point so I ended up having to run to the grocery store to pick up some more. I'm only printing them off now. God- I blame the last few days on a voodoo curse, but I may have to take a bit of responsibility for my complete lack of organization. I think my brain is already on holiday.

There is a big dinner tomorrow at the in-laws for the annual hunt that they do in their forest. When we were there 2 weeks ago there was already lots and lots of tension over the organization so I hope things aren't too hectic tonight when we arrive. Like I said last time, I try to keep a low profile but apparently even that doesn't keep me out of trouble with them. I will atleast come with a great big box of chocolates- you can't hate anyone who brings you chocolates, can you?

B is home early. Great. He caught me slacking off again. Must go do my bags and feed the baby. Have a good weekend!

The tide has turned

Thank god that my rash of bad luck has ended. On Friday, I managed to make some real progress on my To Do list and even had the sore feet to prove it.

To start with, our slightly unreliable cleaning lady showed up, and early at that. A day that includes clean sheets on the bed cannot be a bad day so I knew things would be Okay. Of course, since the cleaning lady showed up early, she buzzed at the door just as I was soaping up in the bath tub. Atleast she didn't have to wash the floor, since I splashed water across the apartment running to the door to let her in. Sigh; its such a shame that we can't count on her to come twice a week because otherwise she is brilliant- she cleans really well and she is great with Ella. If I went back to work and needed a housekeeper I would honestly be ready to hire her. BUT (and this is a big but) she cancelled atleast 40% of the time when we worked with her before. When we count on her being here and I organize my schedule around her (ie when to invite people over and organize dinners, etc) it makes me want to murder someone when she would cancel 5 minutes before I expected her to show up.

Ella was being totally nutty over lunch so I decided to abandon any attempt to put her down for a nap before garderie, which meant that I could start my shopping an hour earlier. First stop- Eres. It was so much less of a chore than it might have been. The salesgirls were really really nice and totally happy to get out every single model to show me when I couldn't quite make up my mind. The changing cabins were big with flattering light so that the glare of my pale skin didn't blind me. The only thing that they might want to do is that trick where you tip the mirror up a bit so that you look taller? Despite weeks of Pilates, I couldn't stand how stumpy my legs looked in the mirror. Even worse though, I discovered that I have a giant in-grown hair on my leg, or considering the size, perhaps a small animal has burrowed beneath my skin. Its awful! But I was bound and determined to buy a suit that day, so I forced myself to ignore the legs and focus on the task at hand. I wanted a red bikini but they didn't have the bottoms I wanted in my size so I ended up getting my second choice, in a sort of red batik print. The second choice was nearly a 100 euro cheaper though, so the decision wasn't so hard. It so weird- I was at Printemps about two weeks ago to look through the suits and they only had out a few. I didn't try any on but I checked the prices and the Eres suits had a single price tag on them for around 130- but at the shop that was the price of either the top or the bottom. I think that maybe they messed up the pricing at Printemps but didn't realize it since they hadn't maybe sold any yet. I'm really tempted to run over there today with Ella just to see. I would be really tempted to buy a plain red bikini if I could get it for half price.

Anyways, after an hour or so of trying on suits at Eres, I hit my stride. In the next hour, I managed to buy new ear buds for my Ipod, batteries for my cameras, sunscreen, the Nuxe body oil, a box of chocolates for my in-laws, and some new mascara. I just want to add right here that despite being really pricey, I love buying Sisley products because I end up with an entire bag of free products every time, face cream to last a month, plus a new make-up pouch. Yesterday I couldn't decide between the black and brown mascara so the salesguy told me that he could just give me the black if I bought the brown, so I did. B would tell me that there was some trick involved, but frankly I don't care. I spent half the money that I thought I would have had to for twice the product. Seems fair to me.

Since I still had time to spare, I made a the very bad decision to take a peek through the new summer collections. I ended up buying far too much- two dresses, a top, and a sweater. So silly since I really didn't need any of it. Have hid the bag from B and might actually return some of it next week after I see what I will keep from the net-a-porter order. Anyways, the guilt was killing me so I made a gorgeous dinner last night. We hadn't organized a babysitter for Friday night and so we ended up staying in and watching a movie. Also, I should admit, we were watching the Brazilian guy across the street with his new girlfriend. I can always tell when he has a guest because he keeps his shirt on when cooking his dinner. Eventually his lady friend wandered in to the kitchen, and they started kissing. Then- all the lights went out, and we giggled about Brazilian guy's great success with the ladies. Unfortunately, the lights were all back on about 15 minutes later, so I think we may have pin-pointed why there is such a revolving cast of female visitors... Oh, Hairy Brazilian, when will you learn the joys of post-coital cuddling?

Friday, February 23, 2007

And so it continues

By the time B got home last nighy I absolutely needed to get out of the house so I threw the baby at him, grabbed my knitting and some heels and lipgloss and headed out the door.

I popped over to the Starbucks for the Thursday night knitting and... no one. In all the excitement over the past 2 days, I hadn't had the time to email anyone to see who would be there. Turns out no one showed up and I didn't have anyone's phone number on me, so I couldn't start to call around to see if it was worth it to wait around. Of course, seeing as how my entire day had been a disaster, I wasn't too surprised at this turn of events. BUT I had a back up plan, remember the high heels and lip gloss! I shoved my knitting needles back in my bag (again, who doesn't love these enormous purses?) and called Mimi. I knew that she was on her way out so I found out where she was headed and made plans to meet her.

Apparently, there was something going on at the Plaza on Blvd de la Madeleine. When I got there Mimi hadn't arrived yet but there were atleast a 100 people queueing on the street to get it the doors. I wasn't sure if that was a good sign or not. Turns out that it wasn't. Mimi arrived and her friends said that they were having a drink nearby waiting for the crowd to clear before coming over, so we took advantage of the wait to catch up on each other's news. 45 minutes later we were just arriving at the caisse. By this time, we could see the total chaos that had resulted in the backlog of people out on the street. They had a single girl at the door, who was checking invites against a list and ever so slowly making change. Watching her was phaff around while an icey wind blew down my neck, I started to get a bit irritated about things. We didn't actually decide to leave though, until we saw the next queue- there were probably 20 people in line for the vestiares. I could only imagine what the wait was going to be at the bar. So after an hour's wait, we decided that the party was so badly organized that it would be a complete waste of time and went to join Mimi's friends for a drink.

The bar was fine and we stayed for an hour or so chatting, but I was home by 10:15 which I consider a waste of a night out. But rather than go onto a different club with Mimi, I figured I better cut my losses and try again on Saturday night. Besides, if I pushed my luck and tried another place, I would probably end up covered in some drunk's vomit, or with my purse stolen or, most likely, with the worst hangover ever. Naturally, I told B I came home early because I missed him and had decided that I would rather cuddle on the sofa- remember, I've got a big order of vacation clothes showing up on Monday when I will still be in the country and unable to smooth things over. A girls got to keep her eye on the bottom line in order to maintain marital harmony.

Oh- and did I mention that there is still an Eres boutique at the Madeleine? I checked the internet and its behind the church, not in front of it like I had thought. Cursed, I tell you.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

dead puppies

Did I murder a litter of puppies in a former life? What on Earth have I done to deserve this steady accumulation of annoyances?

First of all, does anyone know when the Eres shop at the Madeleine closed? I rushed around this morning so that I would have enough time to try on a few things before having to dash back to pick up Ella at garderie only to find that what used to be an Eres boutique is now a Cerruti shop. I thought about going up to the grands magasins to look through the swimsuit department, but I decided it wasn't worth the effort. It would have been easy enough to walk over to Blvd Hausmann, but its astounding how long it takes to get up to the 6th floor and the swimsuits when you are trying to dodge slow walkers and tourists loaded down with shopping bags, plus there would be the inevitable 20 minute wait for a changing room. This week is turning into a complete wash. I have honestly accomplished nothing. Why is that always more exhausting than when I am busy from morning til night getting projects done?

I don't want to use shopping as a response to stress but this afternoon when Ella takes her nap (and after I finish folding up the mountain of laundry that I did yesterday), I am going to make a big order with Net-a-porter. Clearly, my plan to get out to the shops is never going to happen and yet I feel like yesterday's efforts certainly merit some sort of reward. Come on, 4 hours sitting in waiting rooms to see doctors? 8 loads of laundry? 24 hours of imagining my entire home covered in microscopic vermin (thanks Midwifery Parasite Forum) ?

Some sandals and a sundress or two won't fix anything, but atleast it will distract me for a few minutes.

Update: No really- Someone has put a curse on me. It just took me an hour and a half to check out on net-a-porter. Something was seriously fucked up with their system and I kept having to re-do my order. But I was like a bulldog with a bone- I had my credit card in my hand and I was going to spend some money, goddammit. No computer was going to tell me 'no'.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I just got back from the doctor and am still reeling a bit. Our pediatrician is on vacation and since her husband is a generaliste, she sends her patients see him when she isn't around. He is a complete asshole I've just learned (although I was already suspicious from our previous encounters) so I can't tell if it would have gone much better with a different doctor.

A bit of background- Ella had occasionally been fussing when I tried to change her diaper, which I thought was due to the fact that I have been asking regularly if she needs her diaper changed. I'm trying to ease us into the potty training so I figure a good start is to get her to tell me when she's dirty or wet, although it hasn't been working at all- she always gets mad and shouts "No!" when ever the subject comes up. Over the last few days I started to feel like it was more because she didn't want me to touch her, like it hurt. But she didn't have diaper rash so I wasn't quite sure what would be hurting her, unless it was something like a bladder infection. I mentioned it B and he said he hadn't noticed it, until this morning when she seemed to spontaneously start crying as she reached towards her crotch. We decided that we had better get her to see a doctor.

So I made an appointment with Dr's Husband and told him what I had noticed. Before I had even finished he interrupted me and said "Well of course she has an infection." He had me undress her and lay her on the table so he could have a look, and credit where credit is due- Ella has a perfect angel. She laid there perfectly still and let him poke around, while looking at me with a sort of bemused look on her face. I didn't think we would get off so easy after the tantrum she had during her last visit. He smelled her diaper (shaking his head sadly and saying "Eh, bah-oui") and then said told me to get her dressed. But at the last minute he asked me to turn her over so he could look at her butt, which I thought was odd. He examined her anus even closer, and then pointed to it and said "She has worms. Did you see them?" I was totally confused- what about the bladder infection?- and ready to faint from the horror, which didn't help. I didn't really see anything right then, and I certainly hadn't seen them before, but clearly the correct answer was "Yes". So I said "I don't know. I think so?"

He went back to his desk and started scribbling out prescriptions while I dressed Ella. I sat down and tried to gather my thoughts. I asked where she might have gotten them, and he said its hard to tell since they are very contagious and in fact, B and I should take the medicine as well. So did I need to tell the garderie? her friends? Did I need to do anything special with her sheets? Her clothes? No, he said, it was probably just her diaper that came into contact with them? (Well then how did she get them?!!) Then he asked me to be quiet so he could write. When he stopped writing, he said that I should take her immediately over to a lab in the 15th to get her a test for the bladder infection because even though her symptoms might all be due to worms, it was better to test her. I took the address and asked what exactly the test entailed. Oh, just local anesthetic and a catheter. Now, I had a catheter inserted while in the maternity hospital and I am not kidding when I say that the aftermath of that was seriously worse than the delivery. And he wanted me to just pop round for a quick test, just in case she did have a bladder infection? But if she did have one, we should get the results in a few days and then could start medicine on Friday or Saturday.

I just paid my bill, took the prescriptions and left. First of all, he was acting like I was completely negligent the way I had handled things which I don't think was true. Secondly, he wouldn't answer any of my questions, and thirdly, he off-handedly orders a horribly invasive test for a baby and gives me no alternative, telling me that I would have to go there immediately if I wanted to get the results before the weekend. I got all the medicine that he prescribed but I called B and we decided not to go for the bladder infection test. Instead, I am forcing liquids down her and have bribed her with chocolate to sit on her potty, watching Dora movies, until I get a urine sample. Hopefully, if I show up at the lab with a sample they can just do the test and we can avoid the catheter. But it seems like she is stubbornly holding it in. I'll give it another half hour and then I guess I will try making an appointment for late this afternoon or early tomorrow morning with a different pediatrician. I just refuse to put her through that.

Edited: She did pee in the potty, crying the whole time. I was busy giving her a big hug and telling her "Well done" when she dropped her tetine in the pee. GREAT. I'm praying that the lab takes the sample still, although I suspect that they are very fussy about things like that.

Edited again: She can't take a nap because she keeps waking up screaming, grabbing at her diaper. So I am frantically trying to get in to see another doctor who will hopefully give us some medicine to start today. See, its days like today when the time differencewith WI just kills me- I desperately need to get my mom on the phone so she can tell me what to do, or atleast talk me down from the ledge. I'll give her another hour in bed and then I am on the phone.

Edited a 3rd time: It took all afternoon but I saw a pediatrician and managed to find out that Ella does not have a bladder infection. Thank god that I didn't do the other test!
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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mardi Gras

We had the playgroup at our house today- stacks and stacks of crepes and lots of fun with the dressing up box. In the end, due to the flu going around and ski holidays, we ended up only being 8, but honestly when 4 of the guests are toddlers, 8 is enough. As you can see from the photo, we did some face painting. I did Ella up as a kitty,she ran to the mirror to admire herself for a few minutes, and then came straight back asking for more. So I added a bit here and there (green eyebrows? why not!) til she decided that she had had enough. In the end, she just looked a bit dirty, but she was pleased. Of course, Miss Eczema 2007 just woke up from her nap and her face is covered in red bumps. Honestly, you can't hardly look at that kid sideways and she breaks out in a rash. Guess I'll have to run out before bath time and pick up another 16 euro bottle of face cream for her. This face cream is so exceptionally delicate that it doesn't even have preservatives in it, so it comes in little capsules that need to used within 24 hours; there are 5 capsules in the box and last time she needed it for two weeks. I am single-handedly supporting our local Parapharmacie I suspect.

Its funny, the French tradition to eat crepes on Mardi Gras. At home, we always ate pancakes on Fridays during Lent and since it was a meal without meat, it seemed perfect for "fasting". Here its just the opposite and they eat them on the last day for a splurge before Lent begins. I suppose it has something to do with them being more like little cakes. Eating them them way we did today, with lots and lots of Nutella, they definitely couldn't be considered a meal for repentance, unless you're talking about the next day when you step on the scale...

We never have jam in the house, since we almost never have bread in the house (something I am sure to regret the day we move away from France), so I bought a few pots when I was at the grocery store yesterday. I figured I should buy something really special and maybe that way we would eat them up before they got moldy and had to be thrown in the bin. Turns out I chose well- Pear Vanilla and Red Figues from Gault-Millau, and that old fallback, Wild Strawberry from Bonne Maman. Still, the best crepes, in my opinion, were sugar and lemon on a warm buttered crepe. Yum. Thank goodness I was in the kitchen cooking and not sitting at the table eating or Operation Bikini would have been a lost cause.

Only 10 more days. I can hardly wait. But, did I buy a new swimsuit yet? Nope. I have been all over Paris and the internet looking and considering my options; basically wasting my own time. Its not that big of a decision. You'd think that I was using my retirement savings to buy up some dodgy Chinese IPO the way I'm fretting over this. Why is swimsuit shopping such a chore? B told me to just go to Eres at the Madeleine tomorrow afternoon and be done with it. I am always a bit shocked when he gives me good shopping advice. Where did he learn about buying women's swimwear? Hmmm, curious.

Then its to Brentano's to load up on literature. I tried to do it with Amazon but I just can't do virtual bookshopping very well; I need to page through real books to make a decision. I should also try and download some new music to my Ipod (and also replace the headphones that Ella chewed apart). Oh- and buy some new yarn for baby sweaters. I figure with 13 hours on an airplane, I should be able to knit a sweater, screw it up completely, pull it all out and start again, and STILL finish before landing. Lets hope knitting needles haven't been the most recent victim of air security. I don't have high hopes for Qatar Airways in flight entertainment.

Speaking of security, last time we went to the Maldives I had to laugh at the card that we received on the airplane warning us about items we couldn't bring into the country- top of the list? Porn and Pork Products (the Maldives is a strict Muslim country). Fair enough, I'll leave my bacon at home if I must. Bottom of the list? Guns and bombs. I assume that the list was not in order of importance.
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Monday, February 19, 2007

Waiting for my line

I haven't been talking much lately about how the job search is going because, frankly, I'm not doing too much in that direction. That job that I said would be so great for me? I still haven't sent off my CV and in the meantime I have found two others that I should apply to. But I'm not, and so I have been spending a lot of time thinking about why that might me.

I can't decide what the big thing is holding me back. I think part of it is liking the laid back lifestyle that we have right now. There is no real stress for us in the mornings to get out of the house and in the evenings, we have a nice routine, with Ella in bed by 8:30 so that B gets to see her and we still get a nice evening alone. I don't know how much money it would take to make me feel like it was worth it to dash around the house in the morning getting Ella and myself ready and then rushing home again at night to pick her up from creche and get dinner ready, all the while trying to keep the house together, organize vacations (which can be a part-time job in and of itself quite honestly), and keep in contact with our friends and family. I know that really I thrive on chaos and love to organize my life into neat little 15 minute blocks of time. But then so many things in my life have changed that maybe this old habit has fallen by the wayside as well.

Maybe I'm just scared about failing. I've not really worked in an office for so long that I think deep down I am a bit freaked out over the idea of being up to it. I know you have to go into interviews and really brazen it out, confidence blazing, convincing them that you can do the job. That's how you get hired. I can go in and do that, but once they seem won over I am immediately gripped by the fear that I have gotten myself in over my head and I better do some serious back-peddling before they actually hire me for this job that I now know I really shouldn't be doing. One of the problems is that I am quite specialized in a field that doesn't have many specialists, so recruiters are thrilled to find me, for the most part. It doesn't take a lot to convince them that I can do the job, considering my age and my 'years' of experience (it doesn't really seem like very many to me). I feel much closer to a debutant than a seasoned expert.

Which leads us to the next possible issue. I like doing things well. Doesn't matter if it is a small inconsequential thing or a big thing. Its not competitive, its not to show off, and its not perfectionism. I just feel bad if I finish a job and think that I could have done it better. There is a good side to this, obviously, since it balances out the part of me that is incredibly lazy. But the down side is that generally I prefer to turn down a project if I don't think that I will be able to do it right, for whatever reason. I'm a bit too conscientious. I am beginning to think that for a lot of things, I put the bar quite high. Too high.

Going back to the lifestyle thing, B and I actually get along tons better since I have stopped working. Looking back on things, we used to live very separate lives. Our hours were so different that I wouldn't see him in the morning, and since he wasn't here when I would get done with work, I would make plans to out lots of times with friends. Then I would get home so late that it would be straight to bed, and again, we would hardly see each other. Then he would be at work all day Saturday and on Sunday too tired too move from the sofa, so its no wonder that we grew apart. The simple fact that we now have a baby would make it difficult to go back to a routine where we each kept to our own corner, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be a bit difficult for us. I think that he really likes being the bread-winner, the Man of the House- even though I doubt that he would ever admit to that. Before, with separate bank accounts and the way we split the responsiblity for the bills, we were a bit more like roommates than a couple maybe. I think I am surprised at how much I actually like being taken care of by B. And I like seeing him enjoying taking care of me.

Something that I have noticed about myself over the last few years is the way I have a certain idea of "me" and how sometimes it is a million miles from the reality of "me". Its easy to see in other people- the way they try to live up to labels that they were given as kids and just won't shake off. The Fuck-up, the Party Girl, the Nerd. You want to grab them and shake them and tell them to look around. They can change any time they want, but its hard to change, isn't it? I find myself, on occasion, sort of talking to myself like, "OK- what would Nicole do in this situation?" as if I am some sort of character. But the place that I find myself in right now is so far from anything that I imagined that there is a bit of disconnect and I haven't quite found the way to settle the difference.

That takes a lot of thinking. A lot of quiet moments that I don't have but I hope to have while laying on the beach on holiday. Lately, I've been using my spare moments to imagine being happily back at work. I am a big believer in visualizing things- I almost always do an imaginary version of a conversation before I have to make stressful phone calls, for example. If I go through the motions often enough, I feel like I already know how things end (well) and I don't have to worry.

Right now, I don't think I quite know what my ending is, I haven't gotten my script.

Mommy doll

Mommy doll
Originally uploaded by nicole_gt.
I just printed off the transfer of the mommy doll and showed it to Ella. I asked her who it was and she told me "Bebe?" I said no, its mommy, isn't it? and she said "No" while shaking her head sadly. But she seems to like it.

This was supposed to be my big going away present for Ella- a mommy doll for her to hug when she got sad. But if she can't even recognize me, I am not sure it is worth the effort of sewing it up. Frankly I am having some trouble with this since I think it looks just a bit scary. But when I put on a photo with my own hair, it looked even weirder. I don't know, I'll have to ask B but he is almost sure to say that it is freaky. He has a weird thing with dolls...

Tell me, too weird?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Lazy Sunday

I've got a few posts waiting in draft form to get an edit before publishing (who knew that occasionally I edited entries and eliminated spelling errors and stuff?) so I'll just make this a quick update.

We spent a very nice lazy day at brunch with some friends who have a daughter, Lucie, almost the same age as Ella- they are moving to London in a few weeks so getting a bit weepy over seeing them go. Why do nice people seem to hate France? Its like there is some sort of negative/positive magnetic charge. Everyone who I meet who is lovely is eventually repulsed and leaves the country. Anyways, today we took advantage of the fact that they haven't disappeared yet and met up a Cafe Beaubourg for brunch. For such a trendy hipster type of place they are really nice to kids. Of course, after I got out the play-doh the girls went nuts and maybe they won't be so welcoming next time B and I show up but that's the price you pay to finish a cup of coffee in peace.

Afterwards we had thought about going over to Trocadero to the newly(ish) aquarium , but the price put us off. The thing is that you have to balance the price against the likelihood that your toddler will develop an instantaneous dislike for the place within minutes, forcing you to leave before you've seen anything more than the entry hall and coat check. Since the weather today was Gorgeous, we decided to walk over to the little park in front of the Institut du Monde Arabe. The girls played on the toys while the big boys played ping pong. It was a good afternoon until one of the girls discovered a box of Smarties in my bag. It was one of those mini boxes, with little tiny Smarties- only there must be something like 200 of them. Its insane how long it takes a toddler to finish of one of the boxes, trying to pick them up, one by one, and manouver them into the mouth. I swear it took Ella nearly 100 km in the car on Saturday to eat her entire box, and then I was still picking them out of the folds in her coat whenever I turned around. Anyways, they found a box of Smarties, accidentally made it explode over a park bench and then Ella screamed while Lucie tried to stuff them in her mouth as fast as she possibly could (I don't think that they allow her candy normally). I didn't know what to do. I couldn't take them away from Lucie to give to Ella because then Lucie would scream and I wasn't absolutely positive that the no candy thing was a firm rule. But I couldn't get Ella to stop screaming unless she had a box of candy so I went into my bag and managed to find another box of Smarties. Thank god for the massive purses they have been selling the last few seasons, I am always pleasantly surprised to find that I have lots of nice things hiding in the bottom. So once Ella had her candy, I tried to out- forage Lucie and managed to get at least half of them back in the original box. Lucie's mom said that she had had enough, so to avoid any further meltdowns, I emptied the Smarties into my coat pocket (in my new ivory trench coat, just to prove that I am a mommy first, a fashion victim second) and handed Lucie the box, with a single Smartie inside just so it would rattle when shaken. Crisis resolved. But by this time, I had exhausted all my mommy resources, as had my girlfriend, and we told the boys it was time to pack up their ping-pong paraphernalia and head home. Naptime had definitely arrived.

After a too short nap, Ella was up and we cuddled in front of a the TV, watching back to back to back episodes of Seinfeld. I was shocked to find enough food in the fridge for a balanced meal for Ella- B and I on the other hand, emptied out the rest and the best that can be said is that we are no longer hungry. B and Ella took a bath, I did the story books, and she was in bed. After a bit of fighting over the remote, I have retired to the office with the remains of a bottle of Lambruso. I am looking for some ideas for a dress of mine that I dug out of the summer clothes' box. Its a pale aqua silk dress that is empire waisted and falls just below my knee. I think that I am going to have it hemmed to about 2 inches above the knee, add a ribbon around the empire seam, and embroider/applique the top to turn it from a simple slip dress to a a fancy babydoll. I have some really fantastic Jimmy Choo sandals that match the color but I know that I will never wear this dress the way it is (sale purchase when Ella was a baby and I had no time to try on clothes in the shops). Wish I had enough time to do the embroidery before our holiday because it would be nice to take with, but I am going to be busy making up Mommy and Daddy dolls for Ella to take with her to the grandparents. They are turning out great and I will post a photo when I am done but they are based on this.

The big conundrum that we are dealing with tonight is the result of a phone call from B's stepmom. She asked us when we would drop off Ella. We thought we would have to bring her to the country house the night before we left and drive home early early in the morning before our flight but the Stepmom has suggested we bring her on Sunday. For those of you a little slow on the uptake, that would mean having 3 DAYS EXTRA without a baby in the house. I think that our brains were crushed under the incredible mountain of possibilities that this presented and that is why we told her that we would talk about it and give them a call back. That would give us 16 whole days without a baby. We would be like, like... good god, like people without children who just leave the house on a whim with no advance planning or anything.

I mean, obviously we are loving parents who would be secretly spending all our time wondering if Ella was missing us, and if she was having fun, and if she was OK. Obviously. Except for the time would be hysterically enjoying our freedom.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Worst mommy of the Year Award

So- VD recap. The eclairs were an utter disaster. The recipe for the filling was no good either. I never managed to get it thick enough so I ended up freezing it and scooping it up like ice cream just before serving. The Champagne shrimp was great, but it used up so much champagne that I ended up sending B back to the shop when he got home so that we could have a glass or two ourselves. Also, I would probably serve it with a small herb salad next time because for all that work, there wasn't very much food on the plate. The main was fine but nothing spectacular. Of course, as predicted, we were in the kitchen at 11:30 loading the dishwasher in our robes. I hadn't had a chance all afternoon to straighten things up. Everytime I had a break, the phone would ring and I ended up probably spending 2 hours chatting, when I probably would have been better occupied washing dishes. And finally, B did not seem to notice at all that I hadn't made it to my waxing appointment. I think I have Sonia Rykiel to thank. He really loved the lingerie, although it is a bit frustrating to spend a fortune on something gorgeous like that and only end up wearing it about half an hour. All in all, a success. There was champagne, bouquets of flowers, a candlelit dinner, funny poems in cards, and an early bedtime :-)

Poor little Ella was being a sweetheart and played nicely in her room all evening while I was rushing around getting things organized so when I took her into her room to get her pyjamas on, I was playing with her, carrying her upside to make her giggle. As I swung her over to grab with my other arm so that I could put her upright and on to the changing table, she twisted and slipped out of my arm and landed on the floor right on her head. I just about died when I heard the "thunk" her head made on the carpet (there is no padding and its cement underneath). She must have sobbed for about 10 minutes and every time I asked her where it hurt, she would howl even louder. I was a bit worried that she had hurt her neck as well. After she calmed down, I had a look and there is an enormous goose egg right along her hairline in the middle of her forehead. Who is the worst mommy?

I don't mind admitting my little bumble. The other day I stumbled across this blog entry and started reading the comments. I guess everybody has atleast one of these bad days when you feel like nominating yourself for the Worst Mommy of the Year award. And when I started thinking about my own childhood, I can think of one or two moments when my own mother must have worried whether she was up to the job- and yet all five of her children survived to adulthood. I don't want to spill all her deep dark secrets out on the internet, but I do remember driving away in our van more than once and noticing one of the seats empty. Of course, us kids would never mention it until we got home because I suppose we were hoping to thin the pack a little bit? Gosh, I'm sort of warming up to this topic. How about tomorrow I recap some of my favorite childhood disaster stories? With a family of 5 kids, plus the summers when we added another 4/5 cousins to the mix, I have enough stories to keep me blogging for days. And coincidently, removing any residual guilt I might have over dropping Ella on her head.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Just did the heart puffs. The recipe was totally wrong and told me to take them out too soon so they fell down and are now little heart pancakes. Waaaahhh! I have enough choux pastry left to do probably another 4 or 5 correctly or I can just make an entire new batch, only I had planned on going to get my legs waxed before picking up Ella. What do I do? Legs or dessert?

Editted: I chose legs. Ran out of the house and realized that it was pissing down and I was wearing my Repetto slippers and had no umbrella plus I had forgotten my cash in the house so I turned around and went back to do the dessert. I'll guess we'll have to play "Lets Pretend We're in High School" and keep it all above the belt. Do you think he'll see the fun in that? To be honest, I do think a good long kissing session is sort of great.

Happy Valentines Day

I am exhausted today, which is so inconvenient since I have a million things to do to get ready for dinner tonight. Plus, Paris is grey and rainy and miserable, not really conducive to slogging through the streets running errands. I hate days like this mostly because I don't have a warm rain jacket which seems impossible considering the number of coats jammed in our hall closet, but there you go. I have warm jackets and rain jackets, but no crossovers. Do I have to fit an impromptu shopping trip into the afternoon as well?!

Speaking of which, I have to swing by the parapharmacy as well this afternoon for soaps and creams and lotions, etc. My mom had told me that she put a package in the mail with all the things that I forgot at Christmas when I did our packing, among which was an order I had placed with Not only did I order lots of nice things but they are brilliant about throwing in samples and there is nothing I like more than itty bitty bottles of strange facial products. But it wasn't just the lotions that I forgot, there was ton of other stuff as well. If I remember correctly, I was home alone, Ella was taking a marathon nap and I decided that it was no good leaving the country without having truly had my fill of Tom and Jerry's. And since I never drink brandy except at Christmas, no reason to skimp on that. So, all in all, not too surprising that I was desperately awaiting the arrival of the package. Yesterday morning, the doorbell rang at a very early hour, which could only mean one thing- the package had arrived. I came dashing, ripped open the wrapping only to find a stack of pressies for Ella. OK, its now official that my mom loves her more than she loves me. There was room in the box for Dora brand Valentines Day yogurt covered raisins but apparently not for my face cream, without which I turn into the Elephant Man. All I got was some stupid electric cord that belongs with B's cell phone. Yeah, nothing says I love you like "battery recharger". All I've got to say is B had not better not be asking my mom for advice on what to get me for a present.

No time to wallow in self pity over that. I have my own Valentines Day prep to do. Have been skimming my fav recipe sites looking for ideas for our meal. I am thinking of this for a starter and basically this for main. And still planning on the eclairs for dessert. The only downside is that it seems like we will probably be to stuffed to participate in any other sort of Valentines Day activities. Hmm. Maybe I should think this though.

Yesterday morning we went to the playgroup Valentines party and handed out our cards. Which I just realized were not photographed. Oops. On the one hand, I appreciate that it was a good idea for a mommy/baby craft project but from what the other moms said, the kids participated for about 5 minutes before getting bored and wandering off. Same thing happened at our hosue. So we have come home with a bad full of cards lovingly prepared by my girlfriends, which is nice but not really the point. Maybe next year they will get into it a bit more. The party was lovely in that there were lots of yummy things to eat (which I mainly looked at longingly while sipping at my tea- remember only 15 days remaining on the Bikini Countdown 2007) and Ella is very good about entertaining herself while I catch up on the gossip. One little girl that I have only met once before kept coming up to Ella and banging on her head with whatever toy was handy. Her poor mother was horrified but Ella didn't seem too bothered about it. Amazing. At home, it takes me 5 minutes to calm her down if she gets bumped by a cupboard door while I am in the kitchen cooking. This kid was like the drummer in a heavy metal band and Ella hardly batted an eyelash. Glad that she is so tough. On the other hand, this might be an indication that she has picked up on some of her father's spaciness. We were once walking down a crowded street in the middle of the day and a clown passed us, nearly brushing B's arm as he walked by. I turned to B and asked where he thought that the clown was off to, considering that the neighborhood was almost all office buildings. He looked at me and answered "What clown?" He honestly hadn't noticed it, and acted like I was on drugs even suggesting that I giant clown would be walking down the street in the middle of the day. You guys, this clown was like 6'5, wearing a giant rainbow wig, strippy pants, full face paint and passed within 6 inches of B. Well, you might say, surely B was thinking deep thoughts, too absorbed to notice random passing carnies. That would mostly be people who have never met B. The worst part is that it is accompanied by an almost total lack of recall for the things he does notice. And rather than admit that he doesn't notice stuff and even if he does, will rarely remember it, he looks at me like I am certifiablely insane when I try to get him to remember stuff. It drives me crazy and the mere thought that I might end up living with TWO people whose purpose in life appears to be convincing me of my insanity is enough to just check myself into the hospital right now. If there is a God, please let Ella have missed out on this paternal legacy. She can have his ears, his hairiness, his under eye circles, his love of disco- anything else but not this.

Gosh, don't know if that little rant was the best way to show my loving devotion to my dear husband. If only I could write limericks better...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Happy Birthday Ella

Just born
Originally uploaded by nicole_gt.
Two years ago exactly, the doctor came in and asked me if I minded waiting for about 45 minutes so that he and the nurses could have a sandwich before we finished things up and Ella made her grand entrance. Being an accomodating Midwesterner, I said "Of course not! I'll just lay here and meditate on not pushing!" And I did, and they did, and she did.

I am going to try and find the story of that day that I started writing and never finished. Except for the part about breaking for lunch, its all a bit blurry now, unfortunately. Uh oh- between the forgetfulness over the gruesome birth details and the weepiness that came over me when sorting through old baby clothes, I think I better look into more serious birth control. This is the way second babies happen.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Finally feeling human again after a trip to the salon to have my roots done. I was there the end of November, which isn't ages ago, but my hair had grown something like 6 cm in 10 weeks. Ok, maybe its been more than 10 weeks but I can't be bothered to find a calendar and count. The point is that it is the middle of winter and I would appreciate it, hair follicles, if you would hibernate a little bit. 6 cm of roots is ridiculous. So ridiculous that the girl who did my nails asked if I was last there in the summer. (Admittedly, she is a bit of a space cadet but the fact remains that my hair has grown too much) Take the next few weeks off, what do you say? Surely you deserve a holiday and my wallet would really appreciate it as well.

I suppose, I should put this in perspective. If I go to do the color every 10 weeks, that is really only 5 visits a year, which isn't bad. But since I go to a different place for the cut, and I have to get a cut about every 8 weeks, that means 6 or 7 visits to a different salon every year, which in total is 12 visits a year. Once a month. Still, that isn't very much. Why does it seem like I spend my life trying to squeeze hair appointments into my schedule? And waxing. Its like my life revolves around hair maintenance. Another reason I need a job- so that my agenda has something a bit more exciting in it.

Ella received her first birthday present last night- a new set of crayons. We had lost about half of the old set on the airplane coming back at Christmas but I was holding off buying more because a) her color sense is not so refined that she can't scribble perfectly well in the 4 colors she still has and b) she has so many toys from Christmas that I couldn't even think of anything else to give her for her B-day. I had to give them to her early because we are working on cards to give out for Valentine's Day and there was nothing red in the house for her to use.* So, armed with a full set of crayons, she colored away all yesterday afternoon. I drew hearts all over some white paper and let her fill them in. I think she did a brilliant job, considering that she is only 2. She practically stays in the lines, atleast until she gets mad about something and then she she scribbles all over the paper. I dug into my big box of craft supplies and found all kinds of fun things. Ella is particularly enamoured by the little brads in the shape of a heart. I punch a tiny hole with a special punch and then she uses her tiny tweezer fingers to slip it in the hole. The cards were definitely a team effort- I even let her stamp the letters on the top despite the fact that she ended up with ink up to her elbows. Its so hard to just relax and let her make a complete mess of things. A lesson in zen. I'm not sure that I will test myself like this on a regular basis- the amount of cleaning supplies required makes it too expensive, for one thing. I'll have to remember to take some photos before I send them all off because they turned out really well.

Speaking of Valentine's Day, B and I can't find a babysitter for love or money for the 14th so its looking like we are going to have to spend the night in. B doesn't mind, since his original idea was to just do a sort of candle light picnic in the living room. That would be great but I won't be able to set anything up until after Ella is in bed and then we have to clean it all up before she gets up the next morning. Nothing sexy about loading the dishwasher in your bathrobe at midnight. On the other hand, beggers can't be choosers. And doing nothing would make it feel like we've been married for a million years and call each other "mother" and "father" (or the french equivalent, which just makes me gag I hate it so much). I bought some gorgeous lingerie from Sonia Rykiel that is just sitting in my drawer waiting for a special occasion (original occasion having been scraped due to bad timing...), can't let it go to waste. I should just resign myself to the picnic idea and get over to Picard before all the nice things are gone. And inform B that since he's not paying for a night out, be better show up with a really fab present.

For my part, I am going to make him these. I love making choux pastry and I know that B loves eating it, so it is a definite winner. I had thought about giving him some sexy photos but my attempts have been... what's the word I am looking for? Unintentionally hilarious? Bizarre? Scary (and not like Scary Spice. Like Stephen King)? I tried to tell myself that it was just a question of photoshopping and cropping the photo. Well, its not. I think it would be a fun present but I have used up an entire set of batteries shooting and re-shooting so I may just have to settle for making a double batch of eclairs. And lets face it, B is more of chocolate guy than a homemade porn kinda guy.

* I had to throw out her pink marker that day she scribbled all over our white sofa. Did I mention that here? It took B and myself about 2 hours of scrubbing and 3 bottles of leather cleaner to get it all off. I left her alone with the marker for about 10 minutes while I was on the phone and my jaw nearly hit the floor when I walked back in the room. That kid can seriously work fast- she covered the seats, the arms, the seat back and the back in giant pink scribbles PLUS both her hands and her face. She gets her efficiency from me. Anyways, I took the marker from her, tried to snap it in half before whipping it in the bin, and then went into the kitchen to breath deeply and count backwards from 100 while I calmed myself. She was without any type of writing instrument for a week and since then has only had her 4 remaining crayons to play with.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Yesterday afternoon, I did my first tanning session in preparation for our holiday. B is super organized and managed to go and get us both cards for the local tanning place so that we can get a base tan before going and take full advantage of the beach when we arrive. He doesn't have to worry so much since he has such think chest, leg, arm hair that the sunny barely reaches his skin. He is secretly more concerned with maximizing his tan, I suspect. I, on the other hand, break out in an itchy rash on my arms if I start to get too much sun. Have you ever tried covering your forearms but no other part of your body when outside? Its nearly impossible. But unless I am slathered in 30 SPF sunscreen from sunrise til sunset, I develop this rash the first few days I am out in the sun and then am forced to sit in the shade for a week while it fades. So, despite the inconvenience? I will be running over to the "ovens" every other day for 10 minutes for the next three week building up a nice glow. Secretly, I love the feeling of climbing in the oven on a cold cold February day. Always makes me think of Hansel and Gretal.

I think that I was a bit ambitious running straight from the tanning bed to the swimsuit shop, though. I was so pleased with my weight loss and Pilates results that I thought even my pale white body would look OK under the shop lights. Wrong wrong wrong. Have decided to put off the bikini purchase until the end of the month. Besides, since the sales are officially still on, could hardly find anything out on the racks. And all that happened is once again, I ended up in the shoe section looking through the sale racks. I have been having dreams about those pretty gold Balenciaga heels, they are so inexpensive its just a shame to not buy them. I think that I deserve a medal for walking away and leaving them there. Honestly, I don't go out enough to justify buying them. Too many things in my closet already just gathering dust.

This is practically the best motivation for getting a job. I need a place to go every day, a place that does not require me to spend money but does require me to be a bit more inventive in my wardrobe choices, although just watch- I'll find a job in a casual office where the "uniform" is jeans, white t-shirt, wooly sweater. The only thing that I'll need to do is trade in my lovely isotoner slippers for a pair of loafers. Would the universe be that cruel? I might have to start carrying around more change for the homeless or something to work on getting some good karma out there in the universe. Actually, my project for this afternoon when Ella is napping is to re-do my CV for a job that I spotted the other day. I'm not pushing myself- in order to not get overwhelmed all I have to do to consider the day a success if finish one task on my to-do list. Writing a cover letter can be for tomorrow. Sending it all out can wait til Monday. OK, its not the most efficient way to do things, but its better than throwing myself into bed in tears and exhaustion from the mere thought of the mountain of things I need to do. Not that I have ever done anything as melodramatic as that, obviously.

I already did one little project today and brought up a box of baby clothes from the cave. I promised my sister a box of Ella's baby clothes if the ultrasound showed that the new baby would be a girl. She's very sceptical of the results, but is telling us that there is a 70% chance that her third (and last, god willing. That girl thinks about sex and gets pregnant) child will finally be of the female variety. Its shocking to see how tiny these clothes are- and I remember that Ella was just swimming in them for the first 2 months. God, its weird how you just forget things. Doesn't seem possible, let alone normal, that she was that small. Of course, when you are on the other side, waiting for the baby to be born (more specifically, find his way from the inside to the outside), you look at those same little pyjamas and pray that your baby will not be big enough to wear them for months and months.

I was really surprised to be feeling a bit sad about shipping all the pretty little things off. I'm really happy for her and was thrilled to hear that she would be having a girl. I immediately volunteered to send her everything I had. Its not that I am at all interested in having another baby, and I am way to practical just to keep that sort of thing around because one day I will have fun looking at it and remembering when Ella was a baby. But it does sort of feel like I'm giving away her babyhood. It wasn't so bad packing things into boxes and sending it down to the cave. But getting rid of it and knowing I'll probably never see those things again? I am feeling really sad. Not broody, just notalgic. And it was AWFUL when she was that little. The lack of sleep. God. I still turn with wonder to B almost every evening (not making this us) and say to him "Isn't it fantastic how she just lays down and goes to sleep? Isn't she just the sweetest child alive, not crying at us?" The scars run deep, my friends. So what do I think I am missing? Hmm.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The road to recovery

I am recovering slowly but surely. I ended up having strep throat and ever since I was in hospital with rheumatic fever years and years ago when I was at boarding school, it just knocks me on my ass. I had another trip to hospital when I was in uni even though I thought I was only a bit sick and when I woke up on Wednesday morning, I couldn't even lift a glass of water to my mouth, my joints were so swollen. So it seems like I am getting sicker, faster, every time. Yesterday I had a list of things to do but ended up falling asleep on the sofa and I didn't wake until Ella started yelling for me three hours later. I didn't actually realize until doing a quick google search for home remedies (for rheumatic fever. Ummm, I think my confidence in the internet is a bit exaggerated...) that it can be really serious. I thought it just made you have stiff joints. Oops. Better to be safe than sorry- next time I guess I'll go to the doctor straight away. Have decided that I am keeping all activity and stress at an absolute minimum until I really feel better. I feel a bit like a Victorian lady with the vapors, draped across my chaise longue. Note to self: stock up on smelling salts and poetry for full effect.

Its a shame that Ella's birthday is this Saturday. I had thought I would have a party for her but there is no way that I can take that on right now. Luckily, B talked to his parents and said that maybe we would come to visit them this weekend. We can have cake and a present or two at their house making up for having spent Christmas with my family and at the same time giving me an excellent excuse for not organizing something here with the playgroup kids. Win, win.

We booked all the tickets for our holiday to the Maldives. 2 weeks on the beach. I cannot wait. That is the real motivation for getting well as I won't do anything to compromise our holiday. Am preparing the packing already. Also, will be taking suggestions for a big order from Amazon. Need atleast a dozen big thick books to take with- last time I made the mistake of thinking that I would just borrow books from the hotel's library. The "library" consisted of two shelves in the lobby of the hotel, the majority of which appeared to be harlequin romances in either russian or japanese. After 5 days I was so desperate for something to read that I was stalking anglophone guests around the pool- if I spied a book with the book mark anywhere in the last third I popped over to make my introductions, begging to trade them/pay them/ provide sexual favors for first dibs on the book when they finished. No wonder B changed his mind about paying for my diving lessons- anything was better than watching me prostitute myself out for a month old Heat magazine.

My suitcase will be mostly books, and not a lot else. Need a new swimsuit (have only got my black Eres which is still in good shape but I feel like something a bit bright- found a Melissa Odabash which is cute but want to go through the shops tomorrow as well), some sandals, a hat, a sarong or two, a barrel of sunscreen (I think the hotel shop sells it for something like 30 dollars a bottle, insane, so running out is not an option), another barrel of Nuxe Huile Prodigeuse, and some sunglasses. Should have bought some in the sale but am thinking maybe I can score a good pair at the airport in Doha? Its going to be my birthday while we are on holiday so I certainly should be allowed to pick out a new pair of sunglasses, despite my pathetic history of loosing expensive sunglasses within minutes of purchase.

Good thing I have the beach to look forward to. I don't know if it was getting sick that did it or if it is just that time of year. It just seemed like everything was going so badly. The apartment sale, the apartment hunt, my job search, lots of friends leaving Paris, stupid little things going wrong, etc. B and I actually got in such a big argument last weekend that I really thought that I would have to pack my bags, I was wondering which of my friends would let me spend a few nights on their sofa. We sorted it out, but even that went badly since I ended up deathly ill and we sort of put it aside for later. Its always fun to know that there is a big fight waiting in the wings to finished up.

Must try and remember to just deal with one thing at a time. I desperately need to get my papers together if I am going to try to apply for a course next year so that is my number one priority. Even feeling overwhelmed by that at this stage. But I fear I will feel even more suicidal if September roles around and I have no project in site. Anyways, no chance of my killing myself now- stress and illness have helped me attain my lowest weight since 2003. Again, with the silver lining. Who can be sad when they are wearing size 36 Joseph trousers?