Friday, April 19, 2013

Yesterday was a wonderfully blah day :-)

We grocery shopped, went for a walk, clean the apartment and got ready for Grandpa B & Grandma C to visit from Austria for the weekend.

Today I was So SO ever so glad that I had some extra adult hands to keep track of the children! We had our usual homeschooling morning and then they came here for lunch. Which we only just got in on time, Sausage decided to have a morning nap - something she hasn't done in ages - so we had just under 20 minutes to get out (as in, 5 pairs of shoes on, 5 jackets on, baby put in stroller, wait for elevator, go down elevator, pass through 2 sets of button opening locked door ways) and to the bakery and back again. We made it with a couple minutes to spare!

Afterwards we headed out to the Metro to go to Iena for our climb up the Eiffel Tower! By now we are very comfortable with the metro and the kids are great on it. Well except Monkey was in a very hyper mood so those extra hands to watch out for her were much needed. We were nearly under the Tower when it started to rain, so we ducked under the awning of a closed cafe and waited out the storm, and we were so glad of the shelter since it down poured for a good solid 15 minutes.

The good thing was that when it stopped the line up was half gone! So we left the stroller with Grandma C and up the rest of us climbed, with Sausage in her front pouch as well. 347 steps latter we reached the 1st floor and walked around enjoying the view and everyone taking photos. And just an fyi - there is a free clean bathroom on that level :-)

Magoo wanted to go up to the next level, but I really wasn't up for it and neither was anyone else so he was good about it and we all went down. Helper slipped on the final spiral case down but Grandpa was there to catch her so she was alright - shaken but not hurt.

I made the huge mistake of looking down and had to close my eyes for a while but once we were back on the ground my legs stopped shaking, well a few minutes afterwards!

We gave the other Carousel a try this time and then it was back onto the Metro to make our way home. Even though it was earlier, 4:30pm, rush hour had started so I was so glad I wasn't on my own with the four again.

We parted ways at the grocery store so that the children could have a rest. Though I don't think they got the memo! It ended up being a book reading, knitting, bath time, clean up time.

Spaghetti with salad and garlic bread made for a simple yet very filling meal and we used the last of the rice pasta for the children tonight. Yummy desert, coffees, Bible readings and the children are again tucked into their beds.

We've been dealing with some homesickness the last wee bit so the "quiet" time was also used to call some family back in Canada which cheered everyone up a lot! Even Mummy! Monday we will start organizing all this stuff to transport it back to our place of sojourn. Other then some sewing for the girls we have used just about everything that we brought so I was thinking it may be good to post what we brought that was really useful with kids for travelling.

Well it is off to bed. Tomorrow will be another adventure filled day!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Yesterday was fun, we headed out for the Museum of Natural history. We managed the Metro fine and all that. Followed the map and started noticing that there were not that many people out and about. Fine, we figured, all the more for us - school must be back after Easter break :-) and so we marched through le Jardin des Plantes and up towards the museum, and noticed something a wee bit concerning. The lights were off. Opps. Right-o I guess that I should have double checked that it wasn't one of the museums that close on a tuesday. What made it slightly funny is that I had texted Hubby while we were on the way to say that I was hoping it was open because I hadn't checked it all out.

But it all worked out. A security guard pointed out that even though the website says that the zoo (opened during the French Revolution!!!) was closed for a year as they made changes to actual fact IT was open. So rip off prices aside, we chopped off an arm and a leg and paid the entrance fees and spent a very enjoyable day making friends with baboons, gazelles, camels, jaguars and the such like.

On our way back to the Metro we sat under a large tree that after getting home and looking in the guide book discovered it was the Cedar of Lebanon tree that we had been looking for, did the labyrinth in the garden and informed the children that Mummy was simply too worn out to try to find the arena from the Roman time period of the city Lucetia. So we headed through the gate and towards le Metro and voila, was that a sign for a street called Les Arenas (I don't know why it is plural but it is), so after checking the guide book we headed down the winding street and found a lovely playground and steps that went up to, lo and behold the Roman Arena! Magoo was thrilled to say the least.

Today we headed off to Ile de la cite to make a very important purchase. Helper has been inspecting all the music boxes around town and decided that she wanted one from there because it would save her 2 Euros and would remind her of the Marche des Fleurs (since it is in the flower market). So we did that as she chose one that plays Claire de la lune. Then we headed into Notre Dame and after instructing the kids on silence and that I would explain and answer everything AFTER we were out (really didn't want to be dealing with "wicked catholic church" comments IN the actual thing as security was tight - and those who understand our beliefs will understand that comment) and so the kids really got an educational experience as they were having Mass - watched for about 2 minutes and then had some really good chats out in the garden behind it while we had our snack. We were still hungry so we got 2 Crouque Monsiuer to share (hotdog in a baguette with cheese melted on top) and sat on the steps of Hotel Dieu to finish off our lunch. Walking back was very hot so we were glad we were in summer clothing. Thankfully we remembered that we had to pre-purchase our tickets for the Louvre and so since Sausage was asleep we headed inside. After waiting in line for the terminals and discovering they only sold today's tickets and then waiting in line at the ticket office to only find out the same. We went to the information booth where the lady didn't speak english! But we managed alright and headed down into the maze of shops under ground there to find the shop that sold them (a tobacco shop - does that make sense to anyone!?). Found and bought, we headed up and out for the Tulleries for the playground. Now you know it was really to hot when the children decided that it was simply too hot so we headed home with a stop at the grocery store for ice cream.

Homeschooling, ice cream and relaxing on the patio finished up our day :-) Tomorrow we are going to be getting ready for Grandpa B & Grandma C to arrive and see what we have time for afterwards, either the Palais Royal or the Jewish history museum.

Until next time

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Welcome Back :-)

What a wonderful week we had in England. So wonderful that there were many tears when we left! Shared love around multitudes of cups of tea, watching the twinkling come back into the children's eyes as they played with Aunties, Uncles & long cherished friends. Introducing Magoo to a real life castle, sharing tea & cream scones for dinner in Stratford. Fellowship around God's word. Memorial, Bible class and a study day. Playgrounds, walks, parks. Magoo's first symphany with Daddy & a special Uncle. Second hand book shopping! Double decker bus and train riding, Birmingham town hall organ concert (with all four monkeys)......

Yes, we had a wonderful and much needed break in the middle of our time here alone in France. Now that we are back though, the list of things we would like to see and do before we leave in only 12 days is jam packed!

I'm tucked into bed next to Sausage with a cappuchino waiting for the monkeys to rise. They are still on UK time and me thinks that is a good thing as with them sleeping til 10 (and not going to be until the same at night) they are half way back to Ontario time :-) So even though I am itching to wake them so that we can start our day have have longer at the Natural history isn't worth it really.

Yesterday we slept in, even Mummy! Which meant a frantic race to the grocery store for some necessities and pastries before our luggage was dropped off. Since the pastry place across the road was out of Pain au Chocolait, the children had banana chocolate ones and I had a raisin one - so yummy. Yes cappuchino pods for the nescafe machine were on the list of eccential supplies!

Everyone joined in and unpacked our jumbled up suitcases. Jumbled up because we had a frantic time repacking at the Birmingham airport. We had patted ourselves on the back because we had packed and weighed everything the night before and were just under the limit for the 2 large suitcases we took to the UK (yes, 2 lrg suitcases for 6 people, plus a tiny roll on for books) and so we thought we had loads of time to get a cafe and rest at the airport but once again - non!

The bright orange case was 5 kg over and the black one 2kg over so there was frantic rushing around the airport (with 6 monkeys in tow) to buy another bag (at 30 pounds - rip off) and then frantic emptying out of the large suitcases and literally stuffing the books, shoes, kitbags, all the heavy stuff into the new bag. Then security and such, thankfully we have found the in the EU they are wonderful with helping out families. We get pulled out of every line and put at the front (which is the only way we made our flight to the UK!) so we did end up with 15 min spare before loading began. We flew "Fly BE" to the UK and back and they left an empty seat by us, which was great as it meant that once the seatbelt sign was off Sausage could have somewhere to play and it made the hour long flight very enjoyable.

After unpacking we had some pizza for lunch and headed down below the city to make our way to the Arc De Triumph, for the third time. The first half of our journey went very smoothly and easily, and though the second half went fine.....managing 4 children down escalator after escalator with a diaper bag and stroller on your back and baby in a front pouch, and gripping the 4 yr old that always falls on them otherwise, is a bit hair raising. I don't know how deep we went to get on the RER (commuter line) for our 2nd half of the journey, but it was at least 8 stories below the regular metro line!

The wonderfulness of popping out of the rabbit hole at the base of the Arc was wonderful! No line up for the tickets (children were free again!!!) and then after we got onto the literal base finding out that we could go up the lift instead of climpbing up the stairs was blissful. We were already dripping with sweat as we hadn't dressed light enough and it was 19C!

The views at the top were well worth the trip Helper decided, since she was the one that wasn't bothered. The children played Eye-Spy for ages up there, until grumbling began and we headed down. At the base we had another history lesson - but ofcourse!

Because of the heat, ice cream was in store so we picked up milkshakes and drinks and enjoyed them before jumping back onto the Metro to get home.

Opps. By then it was 5pm. Welcome to rush hour! This was one thing that everyone we talked to said "DO NOT GO ON THE METRO WITH FOUR KIDS AT RUSH HOUR" so we let the first train, stuffed with people pass, and laughed at the lady posing and taking fashion photos infront of the train. Then the second train came, just as jam packed and we went for it. Monkey fell while getting on, thankfully a kind man grabbed her before she hit the ground, Helper looked down right petrified and I turned back to see Magoo still on the platform - instinctively I grabbed his coat and dragged him on. He said that there hadn't been enough room - so we had a lesson on forgetting manners on the metro and shoving in - quite the art ;-)

So the plan today is to head home around 4 instead! but all in all a wonderful day. Until tomorrow A Bietnot!

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Well this post comes to you from the bathroom floor!

The reality is that Sausage has been having tummy troubles since Friday morning. We have gone through more diapers then I can keep track of and are down to our last 2 wet wipes. We had a medical issue 24 hrs before we left that required us all to take a strong pill to kill it as a precaution and then again 2 weeks latter. Well that was Thursday at dinner and since then she has had such a messed up plumbing system. But I thought it would be out of her by now, so who knows it could be teeth, it could be the change in diet (though that has been minimal) so who knows. Maybe she just wants to make sure that the trip abroad is memorable for every possible reason ;-)

So we have been sticking a bit closer to home. Tuesday we headed out to go to the underground archaeological site of the Roman city of Paris on Ile de la Cite, right in front of Notre Dame. Now usually this would take about 13 min total, including walking to and from the Metro stops. But (you KNEW there had to be a but didn't you!) they have started to redo a major metro stop called Straspol and all the metro stops that we have nearby go through there for transfers. So the best the ratp site could recommend was to walk 10 min in the wrong direction, to go one stop, and then to walk 22 minutes after that. Um No.

So after chatting with the kidlets we walked the half hour there and back. It was lovely and sunny and a warm 8C when we left and enjoyed our walk. We have noticed a heavy army and police presence since the weekend at all the major sites. Probably to do with the Al Quida bomb threat at the Eiffel Tower on the night we were planning on taking the kids to see the lights (Friday) - yup our angel kept us from that as well. I was feeling a bit sorry for myself that the kids were to tired to do that and then we had a call from Mum & Dad B asking if we were okay because it had been breaking news that they were evacuating it. Providence - seriously.

Anyways, so the traffic was non existent for half the small island because of the new security measures so we enjoyed the walk and found the site very easily. I don't know how we didn't notice it before. The kids all enjoyed it, even Sausage as they could walk around and pear through the glass at the ruins. They had many of the 3D holographic videos playing so that you knew what everything looked like and it was very well done. Certainly worth the 5Euros! By the time we emerged from beneath the ground it was a lot colder out. The sun had disappeared and the wind picked up. So we headed behind Notre Dame to have a picnic snack of cheese, nuts & juice. It saves so much money to plan ahead and bring snacks! I do also wish I had packed the travel mug I had planned on bringing as the cappuchinos are so expensive. The children enjoyed playing in a mini playground and twirling around like crazies on this disk thing. I took pics with my phone but can't get them up on here but they are on our facebook.

Then we headed home, there was a band setting up to play but not until 4m and we were all very cold. Half way home we decided that we had, simply HAD to warm up so we headed to the McCafe for macaroons & cafe and the warmth. Then we headed home via the grocery store for dinner provisions.

All in all a good day. Today we are at home, packing up for the UK and packing up the rest of it for storing at a work college of Hubby's.

well, the girls need out of the bath so off I run.

Next time we will probably be writing from across the Channel :-)

Tuesday, April 02, 2013


I couldn't really write great weekend, and I couldn't really write weekend blues. SO we'll just call this the uninspiring title of "weekend". Saturday after lunch we headed down into the metro and towards the Musee d"Armee to see their stuff. We were excited because a special exhibit on how Napoleon changed the face of Europe had opened just the day before - Revelation class here we come. Now bare in mind that everyone says "buy your tickets ahead of time online" so we did, we bought our tickets ahead of time online. For the Napoleon exhibit there was a time limit - you had to get into the exhibit during the 45 min time slot that was printed on your ticket. So we had to get in between 1pm & 1:45, no problem - we left the house by 12:20 and were laughing. Until we got off the metro and promptly walked in a giant circle. Google maps is great....when it actually makes sense! Finally we got there, a few minutes late but we were still "okay".

Now bare in mind that we thought we had to be through the exhibit in that time period, not just get in - so you can place that stress behind the rest of this paragraph. So for those who haven't been - this place is HUGE. giant. mega-city of a building, and we are looking for the special exhibit, following signs that point both to the left and straight ahead! oy - frustration much. We're now 20 min late by the time we drag the kids up the 4 floors (no elevator) to the exhibit. So they scan our 2 adult tickets and ask for the kids passes. The kids are free, I explain...and they say yes BUT YOU HAVE TO PICK UP THEIR FREE PASSES AT THE TICKET COUNTER. You have GOT to be kidding, they are obviously under 18. There was no option to get the kids tickets online (which I also explain) and now we have to go back to the entrance (which will take about 10 min) and then wait in line with the other fifty or so sorry people that never purchased their tickets online! Yeah I was mad. So Magoo and Helper and I ran there while Daddy brought the 2 littlest girls, and Magoo got in line while I got to use my french and beg the lady at the information booth to help us.

No, Non, No! No they will not print out the kids free FREE passes for us there, yes we have to wait in line, no they will not extend the time limit on our exhibition passes. Yes we will have to purchase new ones if the time runs out on them to the tune of 8.50 Euros ($12) each. So we all are now in line and I admit I am not feeling rather Christlike or Christ minded at all. So we are deciding what we are going to write to them on their website and such. So not impressed. So by now we only have about 15 min left on our passes, and there are at least 30 more people still in front of us, as the museum only has 2 ticket booths open. OPEN ON THE BUISIEST WEEKEND IN PARIS. So the information lady must have been watching us and our slow progression, so she then pulled us out of line, and got the lady at one of the booths to print out the kids tickets. We were thrilled, and off we literally ran up the flights of stairs (with a stroller, diaper bag, and everything else since the elevator was only for disabled and not for mothers with strollers) and we just made it in with about 5 minutes to spare.

Impressed with the service - Non
Impressed with the exhibit - Oui

At the door I asked and they said that since we made it in we could take as long as we would like. Which was great, cause we were wondering what we would see in a grand total of 300 seconds otherwise.

What helped the kids enjoy the exhibit was that they had special pamphlets for kids and though only in French, they could still do the seek and find one on the last page. There was so much to see! And in relation to the prophecies we had great chats about how God used Napoleon to punish and get rid of the Holy Roman Empire.

So then after that we walked through rooms and rooms of swords and guns and uniforms. Magoo was thrilled (which we great because this was instead of Parc Astrix-long story there). Unfortunately we couldn't go through the WW2 section as we had already been 3.5 hrs and the girls were exhausted and bored. So we went to the cafe for coffee and snacks. SO glad that I packed snacks as just to get 2 cappuchinos (coffee is not an option most places) and a small brownie was 12 euros! nearly 20$! so the kids had a great snack of tucs smothered in nutella and pineapple juice instead :-)

Sunday we stayed at home and got ready for Meeting. which involves processing four rather dirty children! I will spare you the details. But the one funny thing was that over a week ago I had purchased knee highs (since it is so cold here right now) for Sunday Meeting and literally a couple minutes before we left - in other words the kids were all getting their coast and shoes on, I went to put them on only to discover that they were nylons made for someone only about 4 ft tall! So Mummy had seconds to change her outfit......ahh the joys of a second language - oh well Helper now has some genuine French nylons to wear :-) We left about an hour before it was to start since we had a transfer to make on the Metro and some lines were closing as of today for repairs.

We got there in time, and it was lovely to meet with other brethren and sisters, from mainly the UK, France, and the USA. We sung the hymns in French and one reading was also in French, but the rest was in I should have been able to follow it but by the time we started Sausage needed her nap and so we kept having to leave and walk her around and around.

They had prepared refreshments for afterwards - what a spread! and it was great on a the practical side of things since we ended up not getting home til 7:20pm. We visited and chatted with just about everybody, and Mummy play translator between our oldest three and 2 young girls that had come with their grandfather.

Monday was finally a warm day - nearly 8C. we had no plans so the day started as usual, but I must admit that I had a bit of a fall apart attack. The loneliness is really hard some days and keeping these kids happy and out of trouble is harder work then at home. What tipped it off was that Sausage almost grabbed a bowl of boiling soup off the table (she can reach the dinning room table here because it is so low) and I just about had a heart attack. Anyways that's over with. we went out around 3 and had a lovely walk along the river all the way to the fancy bridge (Pont Alexander) with the golden statues....and they had set up a antique market so of course we had to have a boo and in the end we enjoyed the experience but all we bought was a bag of carmel corn to share and we walked back stopping at the Louvre for the bookshop (since we can send books home with Dad & Mum B this weekend) but ended up with just 2 wee things, 1 for when we go around it and 1 for homeschooling - a paper 3D model of the house where Leonardo DaVinci lived and worked.

Cafe and pre-packed snacks (such a money saver) and we headed for home around 6pm. All in all we walked just over 5km, and the children didn't complain - it was great. On the way home I realized that I had forgotten to pop the roast in before we left so instead we had frozen pizza.

Well today is the start of a new week. Jobs to do, Adventures to be planned....

Until next time
(for those linked with us on facebook - there are more pics up there under mobile uploads as our camera is out of juice!)

Friday, March 29, 2013

My apologies, its been a few days hasn't it.

Our days have settled into a lovely routine. Breakfast, reading, homeschooling (hopefully Sausage naps at this point), hot lunch and then we head out for our adventure :-)

Yesterday our adventure involved:

A) a pond
B) vegetation
C) ban on photography

Can you guess? After a lesson on art history, we headed to the Musee D'Orangrie, which used to be the greenhouse where orange trees were grown for the gastronomic pleasure of the royalty. It is a small museum, and the cheapest, so I figured that it would be a good fit for us to tackle on our own.

We wound our way through some back roadTulleries. Crossing over that we noticed many school groups and a light bulb went on in my head that it was probably a field trip day since it was the Thursday before easter. Oh well. Thankfully there were only 2 groups actually in the museum.
s, making our way past the tourist junk and bustling sidewalks, following our recently discovered shortcut to the

We learnt the importance of saving time by pre-purchasing our tickets online, and then we were in. As a side note, most museums allow children under 18 in for free - which definitely helps out! Wish it were this way in Canada.

After a reminder on behaviour in the exhibit, we walked into the first of 2 stark white oval rooms, lite from giant skylight tunnels in the roof above our heads. They were stunning! Monet's waterlilies were simply gorgeous in their simplicity and depth. The old me would have wept at having to walk through and not stop and sit on the benches provided and sketch, but the mother played I-spy with the children and we made our way through and back again before Sausage caused a disturbance. Monkey's favourite was "sunset", Magoo's "water lilies on a clear day with willow trees" and Helper "clouds".

Since they were being so good, we decided to head into the basement to look at the other collections. And in the second room we came across our fist um painting with a lady in her all-togethers! oy! right, art....oh bother me. So stern instructions to look to this way and that and the ground were relaid back to the children and we got through there.

The children all choose their favourite in postcard form to copy for Art and we picked up a great book on Monet's paintings for our homeschooling next year.

On our way back through the Tulleries, we of course had to stop at the playground, and were surprised when the black clouds that had been trailing us since we exited the museum opened up and proceeded to snow instead of rain!

So home we went, dinner made, readings done and tucked into bed :-)

Today is simply preparation for the weekend. The shops will be closed until Monday so we have been to the bakery for chocolate croissants for breakfast and 2 baguette. After sausage wakes up from a very late nap we will be heading out to the grocery store as well. It seemed odd making a list for 4 days instead of 2 now that we are used to the every second day shopping. Here is a photo of the toy MALL that is simply too close. We've walked through 3 times but so far have managed to only pick up paints for their art project :-) so far!

Tomorrow we are hoping to get to Napoleon's grave and then Sunday we are going to be able to get to a Meeting and have Memorial service. The brethren and sisters are meeting in Paris and there are also some visiting from the UK. So instead of logging in, we will be taking the Metro to break bread. We are all very Happy about this!

A Dimein

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Such a Fun Day

Yesterday started out with all the usuals. Laundry done in the sink times 2, homeschooling, you know the usual. Then after lunch we headed out for some fun. Hubby had a business dinner so I wanted to make sure the A) the kidlets had fun and B) they got tired.

We wrapped up - well, as much as we coud seeing as the weather was supposed to be warm and it has been very chilly. That damp, wet chilly that cuts through your spring rain jacket in no time like in England. About every second day we long for our winter jackets. Whomever said that Paris in the Springtime is lovely must be meaning Spring - as in May and not Spring as in March!

So the high was 5C. Yup thats it. So we layered with sweater and jacket and out we went. We went to the little playground nearby that Magoo had spotted - and the age limit was 2-6! Obviously that wouldn't work, so Monkey had a wee climb and then we headed off again for the Tulleries. The playground got an hour of good solid dedication and then since Sausage was chilled to the bone we headed to the Carousel. Right as we walked up to buy our tickets the man left because it was lunch and so we headed off to find a loo and somewhere to warm up! The line up for the free loo at McDonalds was up the entire staircase and around a bend so we crossed the road and went upstairs to the Starbucks one. No line :-) Yes I required ALL of them to go. Hey its a free loo and somewhat clean. Then we re-crossed to get coffee as I am cheap and the McCafe Cappuchino is nearly 1/2 the price of the Starbucks one. They also had Macaroons, 6 for the price of 4, why thank you....but we had to sit outside since it was so busy. And to be frank, the macaroons tasted like sawdust compared to the ones at our neighbourhood pastry shop.

So we headed back to the gardens through the front gates and BEHOLD we saw a marvelous sight. Le Bateau man was walking down the side path with with his adorable wooden cart loaded with hand carved and silk wonders. Just an fyi, they are only 1 Euro for 20 minutes instead of the 3 Euros that they are across the river. So they each got one, and he just happened to give them all their favourite colours. Red & Orange for Captain Magoo, Purple & blue for Helper and finally yellow for Monkey. Sausage and I watched and when we realized that we had gone over time, he Merrily shooed us and our euros away saying that they could have them for as long as they liked since no other children were there.  After an hour of Sausage longing to join the ducks wadding in the pond, we left and headed back to the carousel. Another kind gentleman - he said that since we had to come back after his lunch, the children could have 3 rides instead of 2. They were thrilled. Sausage not so much. By this time she was wearing white socks for mittens and wrapped up in her blanket while Mummy bribed her to be good with halves of M&Ms !!!

Needless to say she was carried home instead of fighting in her stroller. It was three gleeful yet sleepy children that piled into the 3ft x 4ft elevator. Chaud Chocolat was a necessity to get the blood flow back to icicle fingers, and put a blush back onto white faces.

(and yes I have looked and looked for hats and mittens but all the shops are selling spring stuff!)

Story time, dinner of chicken corden blue & the Luke reading completed our day and they were tucked in nice and early for a solid sleep.

Today is just a regular teething screaming day. Sausage is going to be taking home a souvenir of eye-teeth when we are done. So our homeschooling is done - with a bit of frustration today I will admit - and we are about to head out to run errands (Baker, Pastry Shop, Postcard Mailing, Grocers, cappuchino...........well I guess I could make mine at home!).

Le Musee D'Orangrie has been postponed to a slightly warmer and hopefully happier baby day of tomorrow :-)

A Bietnot

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Just A Regular Day

Sometimes there is so much contentment in those everyday sort of plain days. Yesterday was such a day. Just the usual new routine of breakfast, laundry, Proverbs reading, homeschooling, lunch and then an outing. Our outing was groceries and the bakery followed by the playground. We headed off to the small playground staged around a nearby fountain, only to get there after school had been dismissed and so it was swamped. Not only that, but on the rules for the play space it states no running - seriously! So everyone was in agreement that we should go instead to the larger playground at the Tulleries. So off we went, with the older three munching on baguette. We had been going to get a treat at the bakery, but alas a little Miss needed to learn a lesson in obedience so no macaroons this time. I was so tempted to let it go, but life lessons need to be taught and instilled while they are young.

It was a very weary mother that pushed the stroller and shepherded the young ones to the playground. Since it was nearly 5pm the daily tasks had done their usual draining and all I really wanted was to flop on the couch. But keeping these healthy and active children cooped up in the apartment seemed akin to torture. For all of us! So when I saw Starbucks, I was rather pleased. See the cappuhinos that you get in the park and just about everywhere else have no lid, no lid equals scalded hands and fingers or gulped caffeine, neither of which is rather enjoyable. Starbucks & McCafe both have lids - its the simple things really that matter after all :-)

So in we went, and I was a bit disappointed that the lady switched to English on me, until then I thought I had been doing rather well since everyone would keep on going in French after speaking English to some other tourist. So my bubble head got popped. Anyways, out of Pike place so we splurged on a cappuchino and then proceeded to wait for over 10 minutes. Someone had snabbled my coffee! So they made me a new one and the guy was all impressed that all four children were all mine since he was one of five and according to him and the lady behind the counter (who was your typical Starbucks snob) no one has more then 2 these days. So he handed me a venti instead of a tall after hearing that we were heading to the playground. He said I deserved it - ha! Then 2 of the 4 decided that if we didn't find a loo posthaste that there would be puddles on the floor so up we went on the scary elevator that had no walls and into the loo they all went (I am so thankful Helper is old enough to take Monkey in for me) and after all that Monkey decided she "had imagined it" so out we all went, by now with a screaming arched back sausage and our whole entourage left. I felt like turning around as we walked out the door and saying "you may now return to your regular programming!"

The children simply love the Tulleries. We spotted the boat man, whom we had been informed was only there on Wednesdays and the weekends- but he obviously didn't get that memo. Unfortunately I wasn't prepared with the euro coins I would need for them to do that, so we made plans for Wednesday afternoon instead. Then to the playground we went, with about 100 other children, all with their Nannies and better dressed then I was and their outfits must have all cost at least 100Euros.

We only lasted 20 min.

In order to get home the fast way we had to walk through the middle of the set of for the PAD. Picture this, carpet laid on the ground, covered art displays in peaked tents, potted topperaries, plush chairs and couches for them to have drinks on and the line up of gorgeously apparelled rich art peoples. women in evening gowns (at 6pm) Men in full tuxes or suits. Shawls draped across the ladies arms, gems glittering in the setting sun - and us. In our play clothes and children all gnawing away at hunks of baguette, while Sausage fussed in her stroller and threw chips all over their gorgeous carpet as we walked inbetween the 2 tents to the gate. Yup we aim to make a scene everywhere we go.

Until the next adventure :-)

Sunday, March 24, 2013


We decided to have a second attempt at ascending the Arc De Triumphe. This time via le Metro :-) so off we all went, after the usual triple checking that we had our keys, cell phones, Metro tickets, Kids metro tickets, keys (again), Euro coins for emergency toilet trips, regular Euro bills (but not to many in case we get pick pocketted - is that even a word?), stroller, front pouch for Miss Fussy Pots, diaper, wipes, snacks for kidlets, gluten free snacks for Sausage, rain jackets (Paris is has the most humerus weather patterns in a 24 hr period) and 4 kids.

The signs signaling that all the metro stops in the close vicinity to the Arc were closed "for maintenance" should have alerted us to the fact that something was up. It didn't.

So we all got on, and re-figured out where we would get off and where we would need to walk. And out we popped from the rabbit hope and up we walked (again) the Champs Ellyses. We passed the cheapest Postcards we've seen yet so the children picked out their weekly one and we kept going. About a block after the postcard place, we started noticing police vans, at least a dozen....and an abundance of police all alone the street. It soon became apparent that we would not be going up the Arc (again). I'm having deja vue! So after confirming that it was only closed for today because some super important yet un-named person was visiting the site, we went to McCafe to get a cappuchino for Daddy and the kidlets had the mini cakes we had packed into the amazing purse. Yes I know we are in Paris and we are going to McCafe. But the price is half that of Paul's in the tourist areas and in the regualr areas a good Euro to .50 off!

Onto the Metro we went and came home in time for them to catch up in their journals and to get ready to dial into Memorial. We enjoyed the exhort and then got all choked up at the closing hymn (101) about God being with us "at home and abroud". Then Monkey cried, because she is mssing her friends and then Helper did a few hours latter before bed. So I think we need to start calling home more often for the chidlren to chat to their friends!

It is going to be cold again this upcoming week. Highs of only 5 or 7 and below zero for the lows so we may attempt a museum or 2 :-)

For those that know us in "real life" we are feeling comfortable with using the Metro and our feet as transport now. The last week our spare time has been spent exploring all the little roads and alleyways around here and some treasures have emmerged (such as our favourite bakery and a toy store). Getting a  handle on your whereabouts is so useful, especially when you get turned around! Magoo spotted a small (5 ft by 5 ft) climbing rope thing by a nearby fountain (where the grass is all fenced off!) that we will definately avail ourselves of this upcoming week. We need to start their Art projects so at least the Orangdrie will be on the list to see the Water Lillies.

Le BatoBus

Our adventure on river was nice. Though I couldn't help but thinking how nice it would be if we didn't have the four monkeys with us. The Batobus has 8 stops, and you can get on and off at any on the ride. we walked down and caught it at the Louvre. Well we almost caught it, there was one right there while we purchased our tickets and they waited for the family in front of us, and then left. Fine then. So we had a walk on la Siene and Mummy had numerous heartattacks. There is NO RAIL inbetween you, or your child.....your accident prone clueless adsentminded child and the rushing river. Oy. Notice in the rail!!!! we saw the actual lock bridge and then turned around and caught the next Batobus.

For the first half an hour the children enjoyed the sights, the many neat houseboats, resturant boats and the amazing bridges and the Tour Eiffel. Then first Sausage got bored and within one more stop, Monkey was complaining "I'm bored, when can we get off" "this is boring" - argh (again see the picture, Magoo all intent on the sights, Monkey busy sucking her thumb!). So the parents decided, at the point that sausage started screaming - which I'm sure was to everyone on boards delight - that we would get off at Notre Dame.

Um no. There were thousdands (and I really wish we had a picture of this) and thousands of people sitting on the side of the river, the roads were shoulder to shoulder people ramed in, the bridges covered with even more people. Obviously something was going on, and obviously we were not getting off with our four children and a stroller and tyring to find a cafe in that crowd. So we stayed on (much to the supreem delight of the other passengers) until Jardin De Plantes. It turns out that Notre Dame had new bells and was going to be rung at 5pm for the first time in over 200 years. We passed by on the boat five minutes before then and didn't hear a thing. Yes there were naughty Man of Sin comments made ;-)

Off we got and the park found. What is it with this country where one is supposed to looka t the grass and not play on the grass - yeesh. But we found an area where they could play tag, and since it was after 5pm we picked up fries for the Monkeys, cappuchinos for the parents (mine was gulped in about 2 gulps as my nerves were absulotely shoot). Then we missed the boat back. Oy. Red light, green light kept the monkeys entertained until the next one came, which was thankfully in 15 min and not the 25 expected and then we headed home.

Roast chicken, beans & fried potatoes were for dinner. Chocolate pudding & kinder eggs for dessert :-) The kidlets are collecting Astrix & Oblix characters out of them ans so far we have an army of Oblix's and only 1 other guy - the cheif.

Well I can smell our lamb dinner burning so off to save that and get ready to dial in for Memorial.

A bientot

Saturday, March 23, 2013

This is a Public Service Announcement...

When you are using google maps and are planning on walking. Do click on the icon of the little man walking to change it from the driving instructions. Otherwise one may find oneself (and ones children) walking for a very long time.

Yep. 16 minutes was the time given for getting to the Arc De Triumph. And I actually thought it sounded a bit short, but not by too much since to walk to the Tulleries is only about 10. Oh dear me! So it is all up hill. It took over an hour to get there. We left home around 1pm, and got home at 5:30. The line up for walking to the top of the Arc was quite lenghty so we all decided against that, I'm sure that the tingling of wee feet had a lot to do with that decision.

History lesson on WW1 and such. We stood back and looked up at the huge massive stone structure and I remarked "wasn't the walk worth it children" a chorus of "no"s was the response. Utter Mother Fail!

We agreed that the way home would be by Metro and we needed to get onto it at Franklin Roosevelt. So Monkey kept repeating that over and over again as we marched downhill on the Champs Elysee. Well, we couldn't see it. Walked around and around, got out the map and looked like lost tourists - which we sort of were....and then Magoo noticed some construction. My heart felt as if it dropped to the ground. No way!

Yes way. The entrance to the Metro that we needed was under construction, with no other way in. I expected 3 monkeys collapsing into a soggy mess of wailing. But they proved me wrong again and after mention of a trip to the bakery on our way home we sallied forth.

We had left the apartment at 1pm. We got home at 5:30. But with giant Macaroons :-) Chocolate for the monkeys, raspberry for Mummy. At 2,80EU a piece they were a bit of a ripoff, but by that time I really didn't care! With sausage strapped to me and Monkey in the stroller that sugar rush helped us get home in one piece :-) Though mine was too sweet. Monkey admitted she didn't really like hers but ate it so it wasn't a waste - argh. The crumb of chocolate Mummy got has convinced me to get that kind next time, or maybe lemon, or maybe both!

Needless to say we all slept well last night. Today we have been enjoying a lazy Saturday morning, with a trip to the Bakery for our daily baguette, only to discover that they are closed on le weekend. So the grocery store saved us again. Hot lunch of rice noodles with veggies & chocolate pudding for dessert was yummy, and we are actually getting used to eating our hot meal in the middle of the day.

Sausage did NOT want to go for her nap this morning, and managed to scream for the better part of an hour, but she is sawing logs and has been for a while. When she gets up we will be heading out for an adventure on the River :-) Until latter,

Bon Weekend!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Another Wonderful Day

The morning was the usual, well the new usual. However breakfast was made special by those chocolate croissants Hubby brought home last night :-) Playtime, Psalms reading, Homeschooling & wonder of wonders Sausage had a morning nap! Yahoo! Our plan was outlined and after lunch (quiche & garden salad) we packed up some double chocolate cookies and headed out....

only to turn around within a block because someone (Mummy) had forgotten the camera, for the 2nd day in a row. So back we went, electric code put in to open the massive green doors, electric key turned in the slot to open the next set of doors, 3 monkeys left to wait while up went Sausage and Mummy to the 6th floor to retrieve the camera and back we all headed out again. Only to realise about  5 min down the road that we forgot the phone. Oh well, too late. Said a quick prayer that we would not need it and be safe and we continued on our journey.

Journey makes it sound long, but it's only about 1 km to the park, looking all the shop windows and drooling over the ballet costumes (girls) and chocolates (all) and racing road bikes (Magoo) made it take about 30 minutes, but it is so worth it. They are learning so much on this trip, and so is Mummy!

The Garden of Tulleries was our destination. Playground equipment was the goal! An hour and a half latter Sausage had had enough so we reversed course and headed back home. Doesn't sound like much, but I think it was the highlight of the children's week - and a new weekly goal is to get to the playground.

Short and Sweet is today's post. I'm not feeling inspired for writing today.

jusqu'à demain