I mean it, I'm not going to get in the bad habit of only blogging once a week. But sheesh, Sam has been sick all week, so if I thought I was a mother of four beFORE, I definitely got a wake-up call this week.
Just to start out, last weekend went fine. We had the confirmation dinner (albeit VERY late and just like I said, we didn't go to bed until midnight). It was delicious. My sister in law made two cool "cakes" with spinach, tomato, carrot and zucchini in it. She also made a turkey/bacon/mushroom dish that was all liquidy and saucy and yummy. Then, there was salad, cake and coffee (and of course, wine and champagne).
The next day, we ate a raclette for lunch! YUMMMERSSSS! And since my father in law had bought too much cheese, he let us go home with the leftovers!
But, by far, the best part of the visit was the snow. There was over a foot of standing powder on the ground. It was dusk when we first got there and the snow was still pretty powdery, so we couldn't do much more with it than just dust it around and discover it (new things for both Lily and Laurel). Ryan, on the other hand, rolled around in it, belly-crawled through it, threw it, ate it and made a snow angel. The next day, since it had warmed up a little (meaning just 1 degree Celcius *eye roll* You know... warm.) we were able to make snowballs and yes... a snowman. Ryan LOVED it and so did the girls even though Lily was sick.
The ONLY thing that was unpleasant about the visit was when my mother in law told one of my sisters in law that if she had to do it all over again, she (MIL) would have named her (SIL) Rachel. My SIL said, "Yuck. That's so Jewish! Ew and just the sound of that R. R-R-R-Rachel." (all in French of course).
Granted, the R in French is glottal. It's made with vibrations of the flaps of skin at the back of your mouth near your throat and can sound to some as though you're hacking up a hairball. BUT, that SAME R is used when saying said SIL's husband's name. *crickets chirping*
I was like, "Um, one of my BEST friends is named Rachel. And what do you mean, that sound's too Jewish?"
She waved it off with a flush... I think because she knew that she had misspoken... That I don't let shit like that lie. She's freaking Uber Catholic. HELLOOOOOO? MARY was Jewish! JESUS was JEWISH. Um, my husband's name is Samuel!!! How can any Christian say anything bad about anyone Jewish?
Sorry, I'm just really sensitive about this shit. I fell madly, head over heels in love with a Jewish guy back in my psychotic days (and ended up running him so far off he won't even be friends with me now *sigh*). But... I digress.
So, I start talking about how I'm going to name our next girl Leila and rubbing it in how ARAB the name is. She says, "Yeah, but Leila is light on the tongue. RRRRRRachel is such an ugly sound."
*eye roll* What the frick ever. I changed the subject because SERIOUSLY. But then, my FIL (father in law) says, "Yeah, whenever people heard I had named my son Samuel, I used to explain that he was the last of our kids and that the last one devours everything and never leaves home" (I guess implying the same stupid stereotypes about the Jewish being stingy hoarders).
I said, "Um, that's not funny."
He laughed and tried to wave it off as a joke.
"But, it's not funny. Jokes are usually funny. You shouldn't encourage that kind of crap."
Luckily, my neice-to-be said, "Ouai, c'est moche, ca!" (Yeah, that's pretty ugly.) and clearly supported me in my disgust.
But, well, old people being what they are... *shrug*
I guess the main thing you have to do in those situations is just not laugh. Not even out of discomfort (that's usually my first reflex... to smile or laugh out of embarrassment for the stupid fucker telling the stupid racist/stereotypical joke). I'll make sure to keep that reflex in check.
So, yeah, Sam has been sick. I said that, right? On Monday it was a cold. I told him to PLEASE take the day off of work and rest. Go to the doctor. At least get seen. I'm a hypocrite because I'm one of those people who goes to the doc on her deathbed, but I don't have to go outside of my home to earn money. HE DOES.
But does he listen? You know the answer. So, by Tuesday, he's MISERABLE and bitchy and whiny and complain-y. I send him to the doctor. It's rheno-pharyngitis (sp?)... basically, the snot invasion. But, since he has a fever, the doctor gives him an arret de travail (meaning he shouldn't go to work) for three days. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Only in France will they write you an excuse not to go to work because of a goddamned COLD!!!! Only in France!!!!
For the rest of the week, he's all limping around the house, doing this blowing thing where he sounds like he's trying to slow his racing heart or something. Granted, he's coughing pretty badly and does seem achy, but he won't listen to me. I say, "Look, take a goddamn hot bath, sooth your muscles, drink a fucking toddy and GO.TO.BED!!!" FINALLY, he does. And of course, it makes him feel better. But, but the next morning, he's all bloodshot eyes, whining and limping and shivering and blah blah blah. In the mean time, I'm scrambling all over the place trying to stay on top of my normal chores (which I can BARELY HANDLE when I'm at the top of my game) and add to that HIS tasks of getting the kids fed, dressed and delivered to their school (um, can they PLEASE fix the wheelchair elevator at the girl's daycare so I don't have to wrestle two toddlers and a double stroller up four frickin's stairs???? You should have SEEN it... by the time I got Lily and the stroller to the top stair, Lolo was at the other end of the sidewalk, heading for traffic!!!). Then, I came home, did laundry, made food, did the dishes, cleaned the house, fed the baby (meaning Sam) just in time to go back and pick up the girls. And Sam's all, "When are we going to go buy gifts? Can you go pick up some gifts?"
I did. I'm a damn pushover.
But, finally, because I'm just so damn tired of his, "Ohhhhh, I'm sooooo siiiiick!" I sent him BACK to the doctor and told him not to leave there without an anti-biotic. Look, I'm not a pill-popper. I think anti-biotics should be the last resort because we've so over-used them that they don't work anymore and are swimming around in our rivers because we've pissed so much of them out into our sewers. But, DUDE, I was at the end of my ever-lovin' chain!!!
Needless to say, he got the meds and is a little bit better.
The extra scrumptious part about that is that after we dropped the girls off at daycare yesterday, we did some more shopping.
Now, let me just stop and inject here that we are NOT buying gifts this year. Everyone we love is going to get a beautifully hand-made (by yours truly) card saying that we have donated a flock of some kind of animal to a needy family in a remote village somewhere (through Heifer International... look it up, you really should do this!!!). But, kids don't understand when you tell them that you bought a needy family a trio of rabits. So, we're buying them some stuff. The adults in Sam's family will get a box of extremely high-end truffles from the top of the top of the top of chocolatiers as well as a card telling them about the flock we've donated in their name.
The children, however, of "playing" age, will get WOODEN and metal toys. We looked all over to find a place that sold handmade toys made in France, but we just can't find one (if anyone wants to make some money, you should start your own hand-made wooden toy store). We did find a small ma and pa toy store that had wooden toys. The owner admitted that most things are imported from China, but that they all have to be inspected with great care, blah blah blah. Whatever. At least they're made out of wood and not plastic. So, we got our nephews some trinkets (basically, kits that you can use to build a toy yourself, like a metal/wood kit to build a helicopter) and some other stuff (stocking stuffers and whatnot)--all made of wood.
The hardest part was opting out of the AWESOME plastic knight's armor set (including helmet (is that what that's called? I don't think so.), breastplate, shield, arms, sword and sheath... oh, I feel like a bad mother just thinking about how I didn't buy it) in favor of a simple wooden sword and shield set. The wooden set was MORE EXPENSIVE than the made in China plastic humongous set. Sam said, "Let's just get the plastic set... We're not extremists." But, I couldn't do it. I KNOW Ryan will LOVE the wooden one. He won't ever KNOW about the plastic one, so there's no loss, right? And anyway, he and I can get creative and MAKE him an armour out of cardboard and aluminum foil... All recyclable! We also got him a little set of wooden planks (pre-drilled) and screws (comes with a set of wooden screwdrivers) that he can use to build stuff. The screws are wooden!!! AND if we want to, we can go back and get another set later (in case he wants to build bigger and better, ya know?).
We didn't get anything for Lily yet. I'm torn to pieces about it. She clearly wants a baby doll. And I'm ready to relent. But they had a cool wooden high chair at that store for sale for 13 Euros. I thought about just getting her the high chair and getting a baby somewhere else (since all they had were crappy ones). Ugh. I don't know. I'm going to go to a toy store today to see what I can find. Keep those fingers crossed for me.
We got Lolo a wooden puzzle/game thingy.
In the end, the kids will each have 1 gift from us and one gift from Le Pere Noel (Santa) as well as stocking stuffers (wooden and chocolate and in the quilted stockings my friend Sallie sent us). The neice and nephews will have one small wooden gift and all the grown ups, well, you already know.
So, while we're out yesterday, we stop in at the super-high-end-chic-chic chocolate place. We sit and have a drink while they box up our order. Sam gets their world famous (Google Bernachon if you want to see it) hot chocolate and I order a cafe creme. When the guy comes to take our order (keep in mind that I'm in a tee shirt and jeans and haven't showered in three days and that Sam is unshaven and wearing sweats because he's sick), Sam asks (at my request) if they have "mocha." The guy gives him a look. "It's chocolate and coffee mixed together," Sam says.
"As a drink?" The guy looks at Sam like he just sprouted a third eye.
The guys gives him a dismissive look and says no.
I bet you ANYTHING the next time we go in there, they'll have it on the menu.
OOoooh, and after we got our chocolates, we stopped inside an organic grocery store. Guess what I found there that I have been looking for for ages? VANILLA!!! Organic vanilla!!! I bought a phial with two beans in it and two phials of extract!!! OOOOOH, and we were planning on having a sushi party tonight (had to be canceled, but that's neither here nor there) and couldn't find nori ANYwhere... Well, as we were checking out, I found it there! ORGANIC NORI!!!!! I bought thirty sheets of it! I also found sesame seed paste (tahini) and can now make hummus!!!
When it was almost time to go pick up the girls, Sam told me that he wanted to take me into the high-end place where he bought my local free-range turkey we ate for Thanksgiving. It was awesome. I can't really describe it because I've never had anything to compare it to in the states, but... well... Oysters are in season right now. So, there was bar after bar after bar with big huge platters of oysters sitting on ice. You just go up to the bar, order a platter and a glass of wine and stand there, eating oysters on the half shell, in their own salty/slimy brine... Blech. I mean, culturally, it's a cool sight, but gastronomically, blech. I can't dig on slimy raw shellfish. Been their, done it... I'd rather have a sinus infection... it's about the same thing.
It was interesting to see all the tons and tons of local (and some exotic... well, for France) cheeses. And it was a leeetle eerie seeing the local birds displayed deplumed with their heads still on, but whatever. *shudder*
Afterward, as we were heading back toward the daycare, I noticed a professional kitchen store!!!! I went in to look for our meat grinder that we're going to buy us for Christmas. The guy said that he had just sold his last one ten minutes earlier and that if we come in after Monday, he'll have another one! YAY! But, while we were in there, I found a ravioli maker!!! It's actually an attachment that goes onto the pasta maker I already have!!!! Sam bought it for me. I'm going to make spinach-goat cheese raviolis today (with the spinach and goat cheese Sam bought at last week's market). Actually, I'm going to make a huge mess of pasta today because I need to use up last week's eggs. I'll just roll it out and put it in the freezer!
I also found a little candymold. I'm going to experiment with making organic chocolate candies... Cross your fingers on that one, too.
So, overall, it was a pretty good day, yesterday.
Ryan's on vacation as of today, so that means two weeks of hair-pulling. But since Sam will also soon be on vacation, we can all do things together like go to the Christmas Market and downtown to buy roasted chessnuts and listen to the street performs playing Ave Maria on their various instruments and whatnot.
I'm planning a Mexican Fiesta for New Year's Eve... we'll see, though.
Okay, I should go. I hear stirring in the other room. I'm going to send Sick Boy out for some croissants before I sending him to the market for our week's provision.
Oh, and, dude.... how long should I wait before I finally email AMD and tell him that, with all due loving worshiping respect, I need a damn answer on my manuscript because his 90 days are almost up? Ugh!
Oh, and, running? I'm going to try to do 6 miles tomorrow. 8 next Sunday, 10 the next...
Oh, and pictures? Stay tuned. Promise. Working on it.
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