Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring is coming!

Wherein I will try to sum up two weeks (not including weekend) in one entry!

Well, the gist of it all is the title. Spring is coming! I know the first day is not here yet - but we are seeing signs. The weather is a bit warmer, the little flowers are blooming, the birdies are singing and the sun is shining on our faces like a gentle kiss as we walk down the street.

I told Griffin one day that I liked it when the sun kissed my face and he replied, very practically. "The sun can't kiss you, it's too far away. And it would burn you up!" OK, perhaps poetic language is wasted on 3 year olds.

On the first day back it was warm enough (according to them) for mom to have to carry the jackets on the way home for lunch. Heaven forbid they would ever carry it themselves! I never fight with my kids over the 'wear your jacket' thing. I figure, it's their body and, if they get cold, they'll put it on. Also, since André is so insensitive to cold (he is, once again, jacketless), I figure maybe they somehow inherited that. Besides the jetting of jackets this day, I also let them play at the park for a few minutes before going home to eat. (Both of these actions may have earned me some dirty looks or perhaps thoughts from the other moms, who were dragging their springfeverish lot, sweating in winter coats, off to nourishment). The way I can't communicate in these cases is very frustrating. At first all the kids ran over to play but then the rest of the moms (when they caught up) chastised their brood and herded them back lunchward. Mine asked very politely to stay for a few more minutes and I said yes. I mean, I do have 2 hours to feed them - and hey, why not sieze the moment? (0ur family is big on seizing moments - as you can tell since we live here) My opinion is that nourishment of the soul on some fresh spring air after the long winter is just as important as veggies! Besides, who knows when it will be cold and rainy again (especially in Besancon).

I had my first (finally) yoga class on Tuesday morning - which could best be described as stretching. Although I enjoyed being in the class and getting a chance to do something, we literally did not stand up for an entire 1.5 hours. The instructor said she'd try to find something more advanced for me and gave me a brochure that looked more my speed. Well, I emailed that instructor and the only class she gives that might fit my schedule was full -and will be until at least September. That's OK since it only would have worked if I had managed, somehow, to get a ride home from one of the other students. I tried to go back to the other class the next Tuesday - but the building was mysteriously closed. I shall persevere next week but I am beginning to think I need to start a class of my own. I'm not certified, but, I feel like I'm really running out of options. English yoga class anyone? Oh, I wish that I was a self-motivated type who could excercise on her own. Unfortunately, without peer pressure I am either lazy or just plain don't choose to do it.

In other excercise blunder news, I went to go back to horseback riding last Friday. Hopped on the bus with the kids (Andre' was to meet me at the stable to take them home before class started) and realized we were on a highway. Turns out that they are doing construction on the road and the bus line won't go past the stable until further notice. Therefore, I have no way to get there. Grr... . (PS -no phone number either - seem to have purged the pamphlet somehow in a frenzy of spring cleaning)

Cecile, the kids' tutor, still comes 3 times a week (unless she has an exam). She is wonderful with them and they love her. Here you can see Griffin giving her a bisou (kiss). Callie loves to be with her, chatters like a bluejay in French to whatever tasks she assigns. Zander gives her a terrible time, often - he HATES to work with her (this is because she forces him to speak in French, which he avoids as much as possible) but she sticks to it and gets him to do what he needs to do, and he does like her (just not her work) which is great.

Griffin is doing well in school and has stopped wearing a diaper to class. This is on request of the teacher. So far no accidents at school (although they continue at home) but he hasn't had to go poop during school either. Hopefully our luck will hold on that score. Happily, we recieved a Grammie package the other day. It was full of fun suprises for the kids. We are spending so much time out of doors though (see Griffin with the trees he 'planted' outside) that we haven't even explored all the goodies yet.

On St. Patrick' Day, I finally had a chance to go back to Callie's classroom. I told the class all about St. Patrick's day (In French - thank you very much) and made them a special treat. I found (miraculously) some cream cheese while in Belgium and brought it back. I used it to make irish potoes - a traditional candy that André grew up with. I made a ton - enough for Andre's co-workers, Zander's class, Callie's class and for us to have a few. Unfortunately, the recipe didn't perform well when using French butter, sugar and the Belgian version of cream cheese - they tasted about the same but were not rollable into little, presentable balls - argh. So we gave everyone a spoonful and it all worked out.

Finally, a shout out to spring flowers. There are daffodils that we planted in the fall popping out in our backyard. I see tiny daisies everywhere, purple and white flowers and when we went into the woods yesterday, some pretty yellow buttercups and these purple aster like things. Most of the flowers are the same around here as back in Philly, but some are definitely unique. Of course, there is the perennial favorite, dandelions, that are making a big comeback all around. Griffin is thrilled, of course, since they are a. yellow (his favorite color) and b. pickable (I have told them dandelion is just about the only flower they can always pick, even without asking permission - since most foolish folk see them as only weeds).

I miss spring at home - especially sad that I won't see my azaleas bloom in front of the house or get to wander along the Wissahickon looking for violet patches and trout lily to nibble.

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