Sunday, April 29, 2012

Carson and Kylee's words

Daniel took the kids on a walk to the park that is nearby here, while Owen napped at the hotel with me. At the park, Kyle was picking a dandelion bouquet for me. Daniel said to her that the hotel doesn't allow dandelions. Kylee thought about that for a second and said, " I know how we can get them in." Daniel asked her how, and she proceeded to lift up the back of his coat to hide them, and said " like this!". She is pretty sneaky.

Carson, when asked questions that require the response yes, he replies yum, instead of yes.

Can you brush your teeth? Yum I can.
Do you want this piece of chocolate? Yum I do.
Will you please wash your hands? Yum I will.

It is sooo cute!

French language

Daniel and I have discovered our extreme incompetence at speaking and understanding the French language. I guess it really isn't a new discovery, it's more of a confirmed awareness. We are both refining our charade skills, and I would have to say we've mastered the finger point. It really is our secret weapon when it comes to ordering any food item.

Daniel and I have done ok at ordering things on the menu. We are understanding more of what the food items are on the menu, but we are not sure how to say them. For lunch today we went to the La Defense huge shopping center. ( It is a definite must if you come to Paris. Everything I have seen has been so expensive, but at this mall they actually have some stores with reasonable priced items. So if you want to buy some French couture,and not bust the bank. I would recommend this place. Fun food places and fun stores.) At the restaurant, we went to place our order. I kindly asked the waiter if he spoke English, and he didn't so that made it a little difficult. We knew what we wanted to order, but couldn't really convey to guy or the hostess that could speak a little English. She recommended something for us, and so we just changed our order completely. At the end of ordering, Daniel asked me, " do you know what we ordered?," and my response, "no, not really." My thoughts were it can't be that bad since we have kids. Lucky for us, it was very delicious. It was a sort of sample platter that we shared and the kids got these fruity pineapple drinks that Daniel and I tested to make sure they were not alcoholic, which they weren't. So despite our lack of communication skills, we ended up having an as enjoyable experience at the restaurant as one could hope for with three young children.

Also,at church, I had my first half English/ half French conversation with a very sweet 12 year old girl. I wish all the French were as sweet, patient, and willing to speak with me like she was. The French have all been great, but I really haven't had a conversation with them like I had with this young girl. She told me about her brother, her sister, and she showed me pictures of her nephew. She understood my French, and I understood some of her French, and all of her English. She speaks better English than I speak French. Anyways here's to the hope of having more French conversations.

On a side note, Daniel and I might have the opportunity to switch to a different home. His work location will change in a year making it a 40 minute commute on a good day as opposed to a 30 minute commute on a good day. It would also make Kylee's bus ride to school 25 minutes instead of 40 minutes. It wouldn't be a house, but a ground floor apartment that is actually bigger than our house we would be renting. We would be across the street from a huge park as well. It would also put us about 15 minutes closer to Paris and it would have better city transportation access. We really like the home, but also like the idea of living in the city. Daniel and I would never permanently settle down in an apartment, but we kind of like the idea of city life in an apartment for the three years. Let me know what you think.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Life at the Hilton

So, Tuesday of last week was probably the worst day yet, spent with the most adjusting. Sleeping schedules still very much non-exitent, cold and rainy days, and again all things transition, have made it a little difficult for us. The rest of the week got better, but we still have our ups and downs. I would have to say that the sheer fact that we are able to walk the streets of Paris, order room service and have our meals made for us, and not do any of the cleaning has been not so bad of a trade-off. We have been playing "Restaurant," here in the hotel and practicing working on how you sit and behave in a real restaurant. I definitely think it has helped some, but we still have a long way to go before they are ready for any fine dining. We'll stick to the chain restaurants, bistros, and crepe places for now. The kids have been really enjoying the cheese crepes, and Kylee is pretty much game to try most things.

Saturday was GREAT! Daniel didn't have to go to work, and we spent the day being tourists! We drove past Notre Dame...can I just say AMAZING! I love just looking out the window while we are driving. There is just so much to take in. I love driving past the stores and window shopping. That's probably the most fun I've had shopping with the whole family, and we didn't even have to spend a dime which makes it the most fun shopping experience for Daniel as well.

One of our stops for Saturday was the Luxembourg gardens. We spent all morning there and didn't even really get through half the park. The kids loved it! In the middle of the gardens is a fountain/pond where you can rent wooden sail boats with a stick for pushing the boat. You place the boat in the pond,give it a good push with your stick, and watch it sail around. Once it reaches antother side of the pond,you give it another push. The kids were very entertained. I would also like to add that Daniel and I had fun watching and playing with the sail boats as well.

After the sail boats, we found a carousel for the kids to ride. In doing research, I read that each carousel here is made specifically for the park, so not one carousel is alike. Carson loved riding his horse, and Kylee chose to sit in a carriage.

Sunday was a better day at church. Carson wasn't nearly as roudy as the previous Sunday. Although, I did have to take him out and practice how to be reverent with him. I also got to be the primary pianist for the day, and the chorister is Americfan. She is from Washington d.c., and has been in Paris for a little over 20 years. She came over to Paris with 5 children ages 9 and under. So I plan on getting together with her to pick her brain for any helpful tips. Any informations would be greatly appreciated.

I was sad to see Sunday end because that meant Daniel had to go back to work, and I was left to entertain the children by myself. Hotel life is taxing on a young family. If you are ever stuck in a hotel with young children, here is a list of some things to do.

Tub swimming - get their bathing suits on, fill the tub with a lot of water and let them swim
Hot and cold game- one child hides an item, the other finds it by using hot and cold to help them locate the items
Easter egg hunt- hide the eggs and let them find it
Window watching- we've counted lots of motorcycles, and the kids love watching allof the city activity
Johnny-jumper for the baby- this has entertained all my children and has kept Owen contained
Dress up - let your kids put on mommy and daddy's clothes and shoes
Pack pillowcases with different toy items- we have a transportation one with cars and trains, a dollhouse one, and a mr. Potato head one for the kids. They get them out one at a time and play with them
Play dough kits- we have the icecream parlor one, and dr. drill and fill. The kids have loved playing with this.
Explore- go from floor to floor exploring the hotel. Kylee and Carson have several favorite pictures they have seen on the walls.
Card games- we have UNO and rhyming concentration.
Coloring books and notepads
Books to read
Running laps on the bottom floor of the hotel- on rainy days we have found it to be helpful to go to the bottom floor where not many, if any people are and run laps, and play zoo animals. They have to run laps like a certain animal.
Creative play- this has probably been one of my favorite things to have them do. They go into the other room and just play make believe together. Sometimes they are dogs, sometimes they play mommy and daddy and baby with Owen, and some times they play good kid and bad kid. Carson usually wants to play the bad kid. It is quite entertaining, and I get a little time for myself.

Well this is kind of what our life at the Hilton looks like.

Au revior


Monday, April 23, 2012

Vive la France

I don't know exactly what vive la France means or if I even spelled it right, but we are officially here in France. The airplane was long, and neither Daniel nor I got any sleep. It has been a week since then, and we still are tired. Not sure if it is the jet lag or just the sheer fact that we are parents...ou revior nap time. This week has been quite the adventure to say the least. We arrived last Friday to the Paris arc de triomphe Hilton around 10ish, but couldn't check into our room until noon. The receptionist suggested we go somewhere for lunch, but that wasn't going to happen. Not with three extremely tired children who just conked out on the lobby's couch. When we finally checked into the room we all were able to get some very much needed sleep,and we are still trying to get our sleeping cycles figured out. That night we took the kids for a stroll down the champs de ellysee, and stopped at the same sandwich shop, Brioche Doree that Daniel and I first ate at. Carson didn't eat much, but Kylee enjoyed the sandwiches and the petit tarts. The next day we ate breakfast in the executive lounge of the hotel. Kylee loved the yogurt, Carson loved the coco krispies, and Daniel and I enjoyed some pastries while Owen slept. Saturday was spent recovering, but we did manage to go to a crepe restaurant. I would say it was a success considering our children were still jet lagged. Sunday, we attended our new ward, and there are about 6 families that are either American or one spouse is French and the other is American. Everyone seems to be nice, and I even met a family that has children the same ages as mine. I wish you could all have seen Carson at church, or maybe not because he was so incredibly CRAZY, and that is putting it mildly. Lack of sleep, no schedule, new place, and all things transition don't make for a well-behaved Carson. Just imagine that scene from Home Alone where Kevin discovers he was left behind and he goes running around the house screaming, hands flailing, head shaking. That was Carson, and an added bonus was the nice man who offered us his pew in the second row from the front. So Carson helped us make a great first impression church. After church, we drove around versailles and the kids were amazed by the palace there. Monday is when the real work began. Daniel was gone all day to meetings, and I was at the hotel with the kids, and really no place to go. We had a fairly good day and the weather was nice enough to let us go on a walk to a grocery store, and then later to a park that is close to the hotel. We came back, had lunch, and took naps. As we were napping, sirens started to sound in the hotel and French was being spoken over the intercom saying a- ten-si- own, which I could make out to mean attention, but couldn't understand the rest. It sounded pretty urgent, and lucky for me they repeated it in English. They were pretty much saying that for security reason we had to exit the building in a timely manner. Needless to say this was not a welcoming wake up call. Carson kept on saying " I scared," Kylee was getting worried, and I was just plain flustered trying to round up everything I could think of for the kids. We got down stairs to a very calm lobby area, did they all not get the message that we were to evacuate for security reasons? I guess not. Anyways I asked the front desk what was going on, and they kindly informed me it was just a test. I wasn't too thrilled, the only thing it tested was my patience!

To be continued...