Sunday, February 24, 2013

New Routines

We have slowly been able to get in a good rhythm of daily life.  The most important aspect of life to get sorted out was our sleeping, as I cannot function very well on little sleep.  It took a couple of days to get our sleep schedule oriented around the new time zone, but we are all sleeping through the night now.  Amelie and Liam share a room.  Amelie has her own area of the room as it is up some stairs in a little cubby.  I was a little trepidatious about the arrangement at first but they have both done wonderfully and she loves her little nook.  It is actually the warmest room of the house being on the 3rd floor.
Amelie's cubby.
View of the kids bedroom.  You can see Liam's bed and the stairs leading to Amelie's nook.
After getting our sleep in order the next order of business was figuring out what our meals will be consisting of.  We are still working on that but we have adapted to city life in that we do not plan a weeks worth of meals at a time but rather plan a day or two.  We stop by the local grocery store on our way home to grab a couple of items every other day or so.  We have a little grocery bag on wheels that we use when we go to pick up more than just one or two items as the grocery store does not provide bags for you to carry home your goods.  It usually takes us awhile to figure out what to purchase as we are illiterate and are often guessing or looking at the pictures.  When we get home we have to translate the cooking directions.  In the States, we ate black beans and rice once a week.  We have yet to be able to find any black beans.  We have substituted red beans and that seems to work.  We eat a lot of ham, bread, and cheese in some variation.  We usually have a light picnic lunch while we are out and about and then come home for a warm dinner.   Bobby has cooked every single meal and I do the clean up.  I love his ability to jump right in to a new situation and adapt.  We would be starving if it wasn't for him! Food is definitely not the primary source of our attention, as I feel like it was in Athens.  This is probably good for Bobby and I to focus on other things than what goes into our bellies!

Although the apartment is smaller than any apartment we have stayed in yet, it does not feel small at all.  The ceilings are huge and the open floor plan allow for plenty of running.  We are fortunate to have a dishwasher, but don't have a microwave.  Bobby likes not having a microwave but I miss it.  We have a small washing machine, but no dryer.  This has not been inconvenient, so far, as we do a load a day and hang the clothes above the bathtub on a drying rack that is on pulleys to be pulled to the ceiling out of the way.  I would have probably had to wash frequently anyways as we did not bring lots of clothes options with us. :)

We love setting off and exploring the city each day.  We have a monthly Metro pass that allows us to travel as much as we would like.  Liam usually takes his afternoon nap on the ride home each day.  It has been cold the last couple of days, but we bundle up and visit places indoors so we can warm up.  We are currently working on an excel sheet to help us plan our days a little better and be more intentional about the places we visit.  We have seen a lot but not much to actually write about as we have just been exploring.

Today we did try a local church, Hillsong, and had an interesting experience with the language barrier.  Amelie stayed in the children's church, Bobby went into the service, and I stayed with Liam.  There was a room for 0-2 year olds in which the mothers stayed and watched the service on a television while taking care of their baby.  However, the sound was not working on the t.v. so I couldn't hear anything.  I also couldn't understand any of the conversation between the mothers as I do not speak French.  On the way home, we stopped by a Starbucks and all had a treat (coffee for the parents and hot chocolate for the kids).  We watched the snow fall on the busy city street while we enjoyed the warmth.

If you have specific questions about daily life or our apartment, please ask!

Below are a couple of pictures from the last week or so to give you an idea of what we have been up to.  My goal is to update the blog more frequently so I can remember what we have done and the funny things that happen as there are many each day.  As you can see, we stop by lots of parks around the city.   
At the park near our house.  We walked here our first day.
Playground right under the Eiffel Tower.  We enjoyed our lunch snack here and played for awhile.
Inside the Chateau de Vincennes walls.  This is about a 10 minute walk from our house and we arrived right at closing time. 
Running around Jardin des Plantes.  We had hoped to go to the Museum national d'Histoire Naturelle to see the dinosaur bones, but we went on the only day they were closed (Tuesday).  We enjoyed the beautiful weather and walked the gardens and played on the playground instead.  Once Liam is free of the stroller, he runs and does not look back! 

I love seeing the Eiffel Tower around corners as we walk through the city.  This was taken after we went to the American Library so that we could have more than 3 children books around the house!
Bobby and Amelie went off on an adventure in the snow to find a chocolatier on rue Montorgueil near Les Halles.
Quick pick in front of Tour St Jaques.  There was a playground underneath that the kids played on for awhile too.
While walking to the Louvre, Amelie posed for a picture in front of Church of Saint Germain l'Auxerrois.
Family picture in front of Fontaine du Palmier.
Amelie not enjoying the Paris Dance by Matisse at the Modern Art Museum.

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