It Took Me Longer To Think Of A Title Than It Did To Write The Blog Post

Didn’t really do much today. Really. Both Greg and Adeline were late coming home tonight so it was just me and the boys for a while. We had fun the three of us playing together. Lots of laughing. I sang some Christmas carols and Bastien played along on his drum.

And the wind today was crazy strong. When I went to pick Bastien up from school I was a little afraid of a downpour. The sky was dark grey and the wind was whipping around and howling to beat the band. I totally forgot about that, but I just heard it again. Woosh…..

And now for something totally random. I grew up listening to an eclectic bunch of music, and one artist that I still like today (because I happen to think he’s something of a genius) is Weird Al Yankovic. He has so many awesome songs that he’s parodied, but I’m going to leave with you with just one. It’s not necessarily my favourite (I’m not sure I have one), but it’s one that I like trying to say all the words to. I’m getting close to being able to do it. Here you go:


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I prefer babies to bananas myself.

So today I actually did something useful! Well, I started something useful. I started cleaning my room. It needs it really bad. I could have finished it all today, but I got distracted during the tidying process. I started organizing my list of things I need to claim, and prices and stuff. My Mom left behind with her (I don’t think it was on purpose) a good-sized bag that zips closed and I’m using that to put all my souvenirs, brochures, and souvenir books. I have it all organized. I just need to add a few more things to it and it’s all packed. I got all my laundry washed and dried (or drying), and I got my shelves and desk cleared off and dusted. So tomorrow I need to fold and put away my laundry and vacuum and my room will finally be clean again. I’ll make sure to do another thorough dusting and vacuuming before I leave and we should be good.

Me and the boys had an interesting play time this evening. Bastien got a knight’s play tent (it looks like a mini castle) from his Paternal Grandparents and so he was in there with Sylvain. When they first went in he told Sylvain to hurry because there were sharks and crocodiles who would eat him. I said I was a crocodile and I would just wait outside the tent flap for any unsuspecting children. Bastien had a stuffed monkey with him and a Lego piece that he said was a banana. He kept sending out the ‘banana’ saying it was for me. I told him crocodiles don’t like bananas, but babies taste pretty good. Sylvain kept coming out and then I’d pounce and he’d scurry back in. He’s pretty smart, he got the hang of the game fairly quickly. I just have to be careful that he doesn’t break my glasses. I need a new pair, but I can’t afford one right now so these will have to do for a while.

Before all this Adeline was checking Bastien’s throat (yesterday he said it was sore). So she looked with a flashlight and told him to say ‘ah’. Then she called Sylvain over and held up the flashlight. As he was walking towards her he opened his mouth and said ‘ah’. Smart kid! Then he kept trying to take the flashlight in his mouth, but still.

So there was lots of laughing going on as the boys tried to escape from being ‘eaten’ whenever they would venture forth from the tent. Before supper we all started to calm down and I even started reading Bastien a story. Oh, and the other day at lunch Adeline told him that I was going home soon. Then of course he said I would be back. She had to explain again that Canada is my home and that I was on a long vacation this year (it was the easiest way to explain it to him). Like when he goes on vacation and stays in a different house and then he comes home to Wasseiges. He thought Wasseiges was my home and I was just going to visit Canada. I wonder if he’s going to ask them where I am when I don’t come back from the airport. I think he’s done that before when I’ve been away for a couple of days.

So as you can see I was busy doing some much-needed room cleaning and therefore didn’t have a chance to load my pictures. I have a lot of them for London Day 2, but I might just have to post some to start if I ever want to get the post written!


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Zombie baby

At lunch today Sylvain was still a little sleepy. He had just woken up from a nap. He’s starting to make these growling, animal-like noises. I think he’s trying to copy Bastien because Bastien makes those kinds of noises all the time. They’re hilarious coming from Sylvain. At one point he was growling and had his arms up and out in front of him and he reminded me of a zombie. The cutest zombie you ever did see!

He’s getting so much better at walking! He’s starting to do it on his own now. I mean he’s starting to just decide himself he wants to walk instead of us getting him to walk between two of us. A few times today he use the door frame to get up and then walked from the play room to the office. I’m so proud of him. Right now it’s easier than crawling…there’s something wrong with his one wrist I think because when he crawls he doesn’t put any weight on it, but on his elbow. So he ends up looking really odd when he crawls, odd and off-balance. The strange this is he doesn’t cry when we take hold of his right hand. It’s obvious he’d rather us hold onto his left hand because he’ll switch if we grab his right, and he doesn’t put any pressure on it while crawling, but when we do take it, or we try to examine it he lets us and doesn’t cry. So I don’t know what’s wrong.

He’s becoming even more vocal now as well. At times he really sounds like he’s trying to hold a conversation. He also really likes the one bean-bag chair. He’ll walk over to it and fall onto it. Sometimes with a little jump. Of course he wants to do it because he sees big brother doing it. He’ll also jump on you if you’re lying on the floor. Laughing the entire time. He’s also starting to get the hang of kisses. He hasn’t got the smooching part yet, but he’ll lean in and put his mouth to your cheek. It’s all very wet, but you put up with it because it’s so darn cute. Bastien is usually pretty good with him. He has his moments when he uses a little more force than necessary, but for the most part he’s good. Except when he’s playing with the toys Sylvain got for his birthday and Sylvain will go to start playing with them. Then we tell Bastien they’re Sylvain’s toys and he counters back with ‘you have to share’. But if it’s someone else wanting one of Bastien’s toys if he doesn’t want to let you he doesn’t have to share. Or if Sylvain will do something with one of his toys and Bastien doesn’t like it, we have to remind Bastien that the toys are Sylvain’s!

I’m going to miss these boys….


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Grandglise in the Fall

This is another one of those delayed posts. But there are pictures so that makes it all better ;).

Sunday, October 30:

We went to Adeline’s Grandma’s place in Grandglise for a late lunch. There was also a hunt that day. The hunters were out and about, doing their thing when we got there. When they got back we at, but this time in the basement. I met a whole bunch of new people, and saw some somewhat familiar faces. After lunch the hunters quick went out again and Adeline, the boys, and I went for a walk in the garden. I also got to take some really nice pictures of the trees in full colour. Some trees anyway. I now have pictures of this place in April, in May, in August, and now in October. It was my last visit because it gets closed up for the winter. It’s quite the interesting house. I’ve been enough times to feel familiar with certain areas. I think Sylvain had fun walking around.

After Grandglise we went to Louvain-la-Neuve to have supper at Sybille’s for Jean-Go’s birthday. I’m not sure if I mentioned that on the day of or not. Most likely ;).

One thing I do want to mention is the hunters’ attire. It was so different from what they wear at home. No reflective vests or camouflage – the colours were all muted browns and greens, but the cut was classy. They all wore similar outfits, like uniforms. Not that I’m around hunters that often, but I do know that no one in Canada (at least not around where I live) where’s the type of clothes these gentlemen (and ladies) were wearing. And then there were the dogs. Since they drove to wherever they were hunting from (or close to it), when they got back to the house most of the dogs were left in the vehicles, but there were quite a few. I know in the first round they took down a lot of birds. The second round brought more birds and a fawn (I think…that’s a baby deer right? :S).

I did make a few notes of things that Bastien said that day. I can’t believe I almost forgot to post them! These all took place in the car on the way there. At this time the sun was shining in all it’s autumn glory.

These are all paraphrased and translated the best I could do at the time.

Bastien: Next time there’s a lot of sun I want to wear my sunglasses so my eyes won’t turn yellow. 

Adeline: Why yellow?

Bastien: Because the sun is yellow. *Following this logic we determined that if the sun was blue your eyes would turn blue…*


Bastien: I have lots of muscles because I eat all my food, so I have lots of muscles. *His way of measuring ‘all my food’ must be different from ours…he hardly eats!*


Bastien: We’re going to a castle like the kind with knights and princesses because that’s where Granny Duchateau lives. *Of course château means a castle*


For his birthday Jean received two card games from Adeline. Does everyone know the game Balderdash? The one where you’re given a word and then everyone writes down what they think the definition of the word is and the person who chose the word writes down the real definition (or something like that)? Then everyone reads them all and guesses which is the right one. Well, one of the games was something like that. We were in a circle (and then proceeded to play around the table during dessert). Adeline started. She read off what seemed to me to be an extremely long paragraph of stuff I didn’t understand. The gist was basically what was the name of this citrus juice-er made by these two guys. I think that was it. The next person (actually everyone) in the circle reads the card, but they get to read the answer. They decide if they want to read the real answer or make one up. By the time it gets back to the first person the real answer has to have been read. Then the person who read the question guesses what the real answer is. I skipped out on the first round. These games are challenging at the best of times, not to mention trying to work everything out in French. 😛

Eventually I joined in. Sometimes I needed repetitions of things, but most of that was just because it was harder for me to remember the responses because they were in French and I had no idea what they were. There was one near the end that was particularly amusing. I can’t remember what the word was, but it had the word ‘hero’ in it and so everyone’s answer was a superhero. Except for Adeline. She answered Yoda and I was confused. Then we read at the end the explanation of the word in the question. It was a word for someone who, well, someone who talks like Yoda. Of course for me unless I paid very close attention to the question I didn’t get that there was anything odd about it. If in English it would have been a lot more obvious for me. The funny part was Sybille’s comment at the end. The true answer had been revealed and things were discussed and explained and then all of a sudden she said ‘is he Flemish or what?’. Everyone burst out laughing. Nothing against you if you are Flemish. I’m afraid this is not a very funny recounting of the event at all. Oh well, I tried. I guess it was one of those ‘had to be there’ moments.

And now for the pictures!

Unfortunately I’m not the greatest photographer working with a not the greatest camera so the colours look washed out.

I have a thing for colourful leaves...

Forget two birds with one stone....I'll take a whole row of them!

And the hunters return.


Click here for the full album


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© 2010-2011 hollyjb

Baby’s First Birthday Party.

This afternoon Greg’s parents and brother, Adeline’s Dad, and Nico (Sylvain’s godfather), Claire, and baby Victor came for the 4 o’clock meal. We had the 2nd raspberry cake from last night (that Aurore made) and a chocolate cake from the bakery. Sylvain got to open his presents and seemed to have a good time discovering his new toys. It’s crazy because when you look at Sylvain with his two little cousins – one two weeks younger, the other just over two months younger – Sylvain is taller by at least a head than the other two. Then there’s Victor – who was born the same day as Capucine, just over two months after Sylvain – who is actually bigger than Sylvain! Both of his parents are really tall, but still. The boys were so cute playing together. At one point Sylvain was standing there holding Adeline’s hand and then he bent over to look in Victor’s face and babbled some sounds as if he was saying something to the other boy. We all laughed it was so adorable.

Bastien looked like he had a really good time with Jean-Phillipe (his godfather), they wore each other out. Bastien can be so very energetic! Sylvain even had some cake today! At first Adeline gave him a small piece and he proceeded to crumble it into tiny pieces and get it all over his shirt sleeves. Then she fed him some with a spoon and it worked much better.

I played with Sylvain earlier today when Adeline and Bastien did some grocery shopping. He was laughing and happy – as long as I didn’t get up. If I looked like I was leaving he would cry. I think his teeth are still bothering him because he’s not always like this. He has this great way of scrunching up his eyes and opening his mouth wide when he laughs. It’s great because then you can actually see his new teeth. And it’s a totally adorable look to boot. It’s fun when we’re all sitting at the table and Bastien will start laughing. This gets Sylvain going and the two of them together are hilarious.


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A, B, C, D…

We were sort of under the impression that the French course hadn’t started yet because they didn’t have a teacher. Well, it’s the same teacher as last year so I don’t know what the hold up was. Last year the beginner class was on Monday nights. This year course A (beginner) is on Thursday nights. I have moved up to class B which is held on Mondays. So for me everything is the same minus some different classmates. They’re supposed to be at least 3 other people from my class last year that have moved up, but they weren’t there today. We basically went through introducing ourselves and we all had to make sure we paid attention because we were asked to repeat the answers when Madame Colette (I’m not sure if that’s how her name is spelled, but that’s what I’m sticking to) would ask us. Thankfully, including me, there were only 6 of us. We also went through numbers and the vocabulary for things like week, millennium, day after tomorrow, century, etc.

For me the most interesting part was when we were given a sheet that I had the International Phonetic Alphabet symbols. We also went over the alphabet. I had to read it through and this may seem like a very simple task, but when an ‘e’ is pronounced like the ‘oo’ in book, and ‘i’ is pronounced ‘e’, ‘j’ is a soft ‘ji’, and ‘g’ is a soft ‘jay’ it can get confusing. Of course I’ve said the alphabet in French many times in my life, but it’s been a while. I felt like I was back in 2nd year university sitting in my Vocal Diction class with Les De’Ath sounded out all the intricate vowel sounds that are foreign to English speakers. For the life of me I can never make the ‘u’ sound (IPA symbol ‘y’) properly. Ever. I’ve sung it countless times, I know what shape to make with my mouth (a tight ‘oh’ shape while saying ‘oo’ in book again…the symbol is an upside down ‘e’), but I can never get it right when I’m trying to speak. I think part of it is trying to get it to work with the ‘r’s, and the ‘oh’s and everything else. On its own as a sound I can do it, but in a word, forget it! It’s going to be the bane of my French forever.

Bastien also went to school today. He won’t be going tomorrow, or at all this week, and Adeline will be staying home as well. They’re both sick, sore throats and the like. I’m the only one who hasn’t gotten sick yet….what do I have an immune system made of steel or something? I don’t know, I just hope they all get better soon and I can still make it through without catching anything. I guess that Vitamin C is helping!

Today has been quite the day. I’ve smiled so much my cheeks hurt. Part of it was Sylvain. Even though he still cries when he has to go through all his chicken pox stuff I was able to get him laughing instead of crying and we had quite the gay old time. Plus with the blog award I was nominated for and everything – all the wonderful comments I’ve received from those I nominated and the new people I’ve connected with from being nominated myself, it’s just an amazing feeling. I realize not everything is all sunshine and rainbows in the blogging world, but I’m on a high right now and I don’t feel like coming down any time soon.

Thanks to all the old-faithfuls who continue to follow me through cyber space. Thanks to all my new connections for joining in my adventure and at the same time I’m excited to join you in yours. I hope everyone had as good a day as I did. Thanks for taking the time to visit!


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Maybe more like Edward Scissor Hands…?

Today at breakfast Greg made the comment that Sylvain kind of looks like Edward Scissor Hands and I realized good old Edward was more what I was looking to match Einstein with yesterday. Poor guy. His hair makes it look like he’s in a play and trying to look old…like Benjamin Button or something. I swear he has more spots than Bastien. He’s actually covered. His legs not so much, there are some, but it’s his torso and face that have the most. Around his eyes too which can’t be nice. There are a few on his back and a few on his chest that are quite big and look like if you touch them they’ll pop open. To top it all off he’s still teething. He still only has the one tooth, but there have been signs that more are on their way. We’ll see. There’s been false alarms before! All I know is that by supper time he was so tired, had a fever, and all those bumpy spots. He napped this morning, but not really this afternoon and by the time I got him in his pj’s and he ate his bottle he looked exhausted. He wasn’t falling asleep in his chair, but once I put him to bed I didn’t hear a peep out of him.

It was a full house today. Everyone was home. Greg talked to his mother today and we found out that he might not have had chicken pox as a kid. Uh oh. Adeline is getting sick now, so far it’s just me who isn’t. Let’s hope it stays that way. I think I should grab a carton of orange juice from the basement and chug it! Get some more vitamins in me. The morning passed normally and around lunchtime Adeline took the boys grocery shopping and I made soup. Yes it’s the same soup that I wrote about back in January so it’s super easy, but this time I did it totally without supervision. I didn’t have enough water in it though. That’s better than too much which is what I normally do. Greg had a point; right now it doesn’t take up as much space to store and the next time we go to eat it we can add more water.

After our late lunch we all went down for a nap. Well, I know the kids did and I flopped down in my room. I wasn’t planning on sleeping, but I did on and off for about 3 hours. During this time Adeline also took a nap, but Sylvain woke up so he was with Greg. I guess it’s a good thing, sleep is important and I really don’t want to get sick. I made a comment that all the germs were upstairs because everyone who sleeps upstairs has gotten sick.

Tonight I watched Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis (or in English Welcome to the Sticks). Greg and Adeline said it was funnier than Rien à Déclarer, and it sure was funny, but I think I liked Rien à Déclarer better. Maybe it’s because I saw it first. The movie is about a Post Office Administrator who worked really hard to get a promotion to move the southern sea-side (in France) and doesn’t get it. He applies for another one, but says he’s handicapped (they gave the first transfer to a handicapped person – that’s why he does it). He’s found out and is ‘banished’ to the North. The stereotypes are slightly different (ie. no igloos), but think of all the stereotypes Americans have about Canadians and you’ll understand. It’s always freezing, they always drink beer, they’re basically uncouth rednecks (to use a familiar term), etc, etc. They also speak a dialect of French called Chtimi. Replace ‘S’ with ‘SH’ and a bunch of other things. It might as well be another language! Because of this and because of the speed it was harder for me to try to follow the French than it was for the other film, but I did catch a few things. There was one subtitle discrepancy in particular that I caught, but when I had a chance to think about it, it made sense. They were talking about an office. Because of the dialect in the subtitles it was spelled something like offish. Then they kept putting ‘offish’ and ‘fish’ and ‘offish’ and ‘fish’ and I was confused because they were clearly saying ‘chien’ (dog). However they were saying ‘office’ in the movie sounded (to the guy from southern France) like ‘chien’ and there was all kinds of confusion. Which is part of whats so funny. So while I was confused based on what I was hearing and what I was reading at the time, it makes sense now. Watching “foreign” films when you actually speak some of the language can be trying sometimes because the subtitles don’t always actually reflect the literal translation. Or the translation that you know. I definitely had many ‘laugh out very loud’ moments. I kept apologizing after them because I was afraid I was going to wake the boys up! I’m sure if I laughed as loud with the other movie, but I still like that one better. I can now say with certainty that I am a Dany Boon fan. At least his comedy. I haven’t watched him in anything other than that.

So that was my day. Full of laughter near the end. How was yours?


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