Monday, September 15, 2014

48 weeks: Funniest Person in the Room

Last week, little miss Oswin Jade turned 48 weeks old, and as per usual, there were some things about this week that really stuck out...

{"They're called illllusions Michael."}

...namely that she is really coming into her silliness.

All last week she would break into random bouts of giggles, and sometimes boundless laughing, for no apparent reason.

{Oswin says, "live each day like it's a 1920's beach party."}

She was cracking herself up left and right. I'm pretty sure she was the funniest person in the room, all the rooms actually, all of last week.

{Oswin doing her best Patrick McGoohan, a la "The Prisoner"}

Sometimes she would laugh at random things that we're not quite sure of specifically. Other times she would laugh at us doing something silly that we didn't think was as funny as it actually was to her. She was in her own little world of hilarity, this one.

Paper bags being crumpled? HOLD THE PHONE FUNNY.

It was really cute, and I hope this silliness sticks around forever and ever.

I'm eager to see what shenanigans week 49 brings on.

A la prochaine friends...


Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Harvest.

I love this time of year. September really is such a great month to live where we do, as there are so many festivals and celebrations. But not only that, it's time to start picking figs from one of the two community trees in our little village. 

I love that we have community fig trees. There's nothing better for me than taking Oswin out for a run in the BOB, and then walking to the trees and picking a handful of figs for not only my post run snack, but also to mix into Oswin's dinner. Picking the fruit and vegetables that you're about to prepare in your next meal direct from the source is where it's at. 

As for our garden, we're harvesting kale and rainbow chard every night, and adding them to stews, soups and smoothies. Kale is not easily found here in France, nor do the French really seem to get into it. Choux friseé non-pomme, as it's known in French, has done very well in our garden, and we're now reaping the benefits. 

We've just about finished the four-day period of introducing rainbow chard to Oswin, and kale will be next up on her menu. I love being able to make her meals with either food that we've grown ourselves, or picked from local trees. 

Now that summer has wound down, we're preparing our fall garden. So far we've planted carrot and kale seeds, with a few rows left for us to fill. We're planning on putting in parsley, cilantro and one or two more vegetables. What are you favorite fall vegetables to plant? We'd love some suggestions of how to round out our fall garden! 

A la prochaine friends...


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Brasserie Gessienne.

Today, we went to a birthday party. But not just any birthday party, a birthday party for a local brewery. 

You may remember that during the Thoiry Salon des Vins, we were invited by a vendor to the 2nd anniversary of their business. The business happens to be a great local brewery, located in the nearby town of Ornex, France, called Brasserie Gessienne

{Oswin may or may not have had some strawberry was a birthday party after all...}

It was a small event. It seemed like we were the only ones there that didn't know everyone. That was ok, because everyone was really nice. There was strawberry shortcake, and of course, beers to try. 

We finished our samples, and were than asked a question: do we like whiskey? 

Why yes, yes we do. 

Here, try this, it's made with the same malt as Lagavulin....

Lagavulin? You mean my favorite scotch (not whiskey, but that's ok), in the whole wide world? 

We'd love some. 

What resulted was a look of amazement from Dan, one that said "this could be in my top ten." It was smokey. It was peaty perfection, in a beer. Two bottles of Humeur du Brasseur SVP. 

We had a great time at the birthday party. It's a small brewery, one without a bar to speak of. There was a stage set up with a band, a pig on a spit, bleu de Gex cheese, and the aforementioned cake. And of course beer. Really the best way to celebrate a birthday party, am I right? 

Happy 2nd Birthday Brasserie Gessienne. Keep on making the good stuff, and we hope we're able to celebrate with you for your 3rd. 

A la prochaine friends...


PS; If you're in the Pays de Gex/Rhone-Alpes/Geneva area and looking to procure some beers from Brasserie Gessienne, here is a list of places to do so. You're welcome. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Oswin's First Time at the Playground

I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but Thursday was the first time that we've taken Oswin to a playground. 

It's just not something that occurred to me as something that she might enjoy yet, since we're in the very early stages of this whole standing and trying to walk thing.

{This is her happy face.}

So, at the ripe old age of 11 months, we took Oswin to her first playground.

It was really nice, because we had the park all to ourselves. 

She wasn't too interested in any of the play equipment, but the grass? 

Most fascinating thing ever. 


She was very happy to stand a little bit, to try to take a few steps...

...but her favorite thing by far was sitting in the grass, running her fingers through it, picking grass and clovers, and then trying to eat them. 

She only lasted about 20 minutes, as we were running very close to her nap, but she had a great time. We don't have a lot of play space in our house, and I think going to the playground a few times a week will be really great for her. She loves nature and being outside. She seemed in awe of all of the green space. It'll be good for Mama too, as it entails a 2+ mile walk. And possibly a pit stop at the boulangerie for a treat. 

Correction: definitely a pit stop at the boulangerie for a treat. 

How about you - when did you start bringing your littles to a playground? Are we ridiculously late in doing this? 

A la prochaine friends...


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Before the wine, there was the market.

This past Sunday, before ending our weekend of wine tasting at the Thoiry Salon des Vins, we spent time at our town's weekly outdoor market.

The Thoiry Market is one of my favorite things about living where we do, and we've been making an effort to get to it each week, as we did before I was pregnant. 

A few of the vendors have changed over the years, but most have stayed the same. The wicker basket maker still speaks to me in long and fast French while we barter, blowing smoke from her cigarette in my face, even when I tell her I only understand a little French (and not at that speed). Didier, the man with the chicken stand, sometimes offers us some wine while we wait in line for eggs. The flower lady never charges us enough, and sometimes not at all. Our olive guy is always busy but kind. The husband and wife who run the cheese stand have named us "The Lovers," and the husband often sings to us. The guy with the book stand always has an assortment of used Agatha Christie books in French, mixed in with some more scandalous fare. The guy who sells the nettle cheese will always try to get us to come over for a taste, though we never do. The guy who yells a lot has the best strawberries. He always always does. 

Every Sunday it's the same, and we love it. Thoiry's market isn't as large as some of the neighboring markets, like Ferney-Voltaire or Divonne, but it's our market. It's small, like our town. It's cozy, like our town. It's kind of like the "Cheers" of France: if you go enough everyone will know your name, or at least, your order. 

I'm looking forward to fall's upcoming crisp days at the market. I'd much prefer being bundled up for the 2+ mile walk to and from, to sweating while lugging back our groceries. There's something about coming home from the market with flushed cheeks, after following your breath for a mile, that makes my heart happy. Putting the kettle on to make some coffee while we prep brunch, opening up a bottle of wine to accompany it, while watching the chill grow outside, it's just my favorite way to celebrate a Sunday. 

What's your favorite way to celebrate a Sunday?

A la prochaine friends...


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

47 weeks: Talkin' the talk, walkin' the walk.

Last week, Oswin reached the grand old age of 47 weeks old.

{My little teenager}

It was marked by a few milestones, including increased babbling, and taking a few steps without falling down. 

I guess walking is easier when there's a plastic teddy bear THAT YOU JUST HAVE TO SPIN ROUND AND ROUND just a few feet away.

She also can't seem to decide if the xylophone we got her in Geneva a few weeks back is for chewing or hitting. We'll keep you updated once the official verdict is in. 

And a sidenote: I can't give enough props to those of you out there who make your living photographing small children. Holy hell it is getting more and more difficult to photograph her each week, especially when I'm by myself. All she wants to do is try to dive off of the bed, or stand and fall down. I think I need to reserve her weekly pictures for when Dan is here, since he's the best baby wrangler I know. So good work out there photographers of children, you're my heroes of the day.

A la prochaine friends...