Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Flowers of January, the Snows of February

The flowers of January, after pressing

I began this blog entry ten days ago and I started it like this:

"I wish I could bottle this weather and send it to you. Winter seems to have forgotten about us this year."

Then I was going to describe the balmy air and the spring blossoms we'd been seeing, and how much I love the flower press my Mom-in-law gave me for Christmas. (Really, it's wonderful! For one thing, it gives you something to do with all the short-stemmed daisies your child brings you).

But as you can see, winter has remembered us after all. We woke on Sunday to our first snowfall. It took Maria a few seconds to figure out what the white stuff was. "It's nose," she said with enthusiasm. Then she opened her Christmas Wimmelbuch to the page showing the forest in winter and studied it for a good long time. Then she informed us she wanted to put on her snow pants.

It's a bit of a relief to have the cold weather here, though it does make it more difficult to get around. We've been grateful for the mild winter, but there was kind of a suspense building. During the warm days of January, I had two voices contending in my head, one saying "ahhh, Spring already! Look, the quince is blooming" the other saying "no, no, Winter is still on it's way. Those flowers will be blasted and brown 'ere long.". So, the voice of realism won, but now the optimist chimes in and says, "this will only be a French portion of winter--small and exquisite. Just enough bitterness to make Spring sweet." And on it goes.

Speaking of seasons, we have reached the sweet, Golden Age of Baby, when life regains its rhythm and things begin to feel functional. The last couple of nights Louisa has been waking only once to nurse (hurray!). She has also found her feet, and will amuse herself with them for ten minutes at a time, but only if I remember to free them from her sleeper (bare toes being many times more interesting than covered one). Most evenings, we have about an hour and a half when both children are in bed and we are not. I've been using the time to make an illustration for a Friend's nursery, and have been enjoying the project.

Maria has been going to the Haltegarderie three mornings a week. This schedule works better for us than having her gone for one six-hour day. I was rather lonely when she was gone for so long, and she was overtired and fragile from going without a nap. The thrice weekly arrangement provides more regular social interaction for her and more exercise for me.
The supervisor tells me that Maria has begun to speak French while there. We haven't noticed her speaking French at home, with the exception of the words "lapin" (rabbit) and "la bas" (over there), which she usually says before launching into a string of yelled gibberish.

Meanwhile, we continue breaking everything in our apartment--or rather, things keep breaking all on there own. This is not intentional on our part, but from the rate of breakage you would think it was. Since moving here, we've had table legs come off, a microwave die a fiery death, the legs on our bed bend and collapse, a new electric sweeper quit after half a dozen uses and that's just a partial list. Most recently, the seat of our office chair has taken to coming off the base, usually depositing one or more of us on the ground. It's rather frustrating that things keep breaking, but the comfort is that they're not our things. Of course we've become rather sheepish about reporting these breakages to our dear land lords, who are convinced that we (that is, Don or I) must have been jumping on the bed in order to the have the legs bend the way they did. I promise we weren't. It's a vast wing-nut conspiracy.

And now, for some laughs:

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