Here are some of their photos:
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Here are some of their photos:
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
I have not enjoyed the drives to the trail heads, up winding, narrow, mountain roads. The views I'm sure, have been wonderful, but I haven't been looking. I had to turn back with Finian on one hike, the trail was so narrow, with a huge drop off, and Fiacra and Ailbhe were skipping along so nonchalantly, I just couldn't watch them. I was also leaning away from the drop-off so didn't feel safe walking with Finian.
Monday, April 18, 2011
It's a bit trickier travelling with Finian now that he has nap times and meal times. We have been letting him nap in the morning in the apartment and then he has his second nap on the go in the afternoon. He has been great, and has been sleeping really well at night (I knew the boots were affecting his sleep). His favourite game at the moment is knocking Fiacra's cap off. Fiacra, the most impatient child in the world, actually has a lot of patience with Finian.
There are so many hiking trails here, including some of the long distance pilgrim routes. The Chemin de St. Jacques de Compostela (the St. James Way) has branches all over Europe, all leading to Santiago de Compostela in Northern Spain. One of the original routes, la Voie d'Arles, goes through the Aspe Valley, and passes through the property where we are staying.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
This trip is the first time we have been outside Gironde. We drove south from Bordeaux, through Landes, to the Valle d'Aspe in the Pyrenees. We are about 30 km from the Spanish border.
The drive time was about 4 hours but we took most of the day. We stopped for lunch in Dax, which is in Landes. Dax is the spa capital of France because of its thermal waters. The restorative powers of the thermal waters and mud was supposedly discovered by a Roman legionnaire who was stationed in Dax. He attempted to drown his dog, who was suffering from rheumatism, before leaving for battle. On his return, what did he find - a completely rejuvenated (and muddy) dog.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
My first thought was, hurray, FINALLY he will sleep again. I am a bit concerned though, because Finian's orthopedic surgeon in Canada had said that he would need to wear the boots at night for as long as he would tolerate us putting them on him. This is the difficult part of switching doctors in the middle of treatment.
Finian can only put weight on his feet for a few seconds, and when he does, his right foot rolls so that he is standing on the outside of his foot. His feet are really flexible which is the surgeon's concern. He said to buy leather boots with a flat sole, that they would help him start to put weight on his feet. We have another appointment in two months.
We will leave France when Finian is 17 months old. I hope he starts to walk in France.
Monday, April 11, 2011
I've made Chicken Chasseur a few times. The kids love it. We serve it with rice, green beans, and bread of course. We had Beef Bourguignon yesterday and and leftovers today. I asked Connell if he liked it, "very much" he answered emphatically. These are both winter foods so we probably won't have them too many more times until fall.
I'm looking for recipes that will be good during the summer. In Canada, during the summer, we barbecue almost every day. I don't think we'll get a BBQ here. We're trying to keep in mind that everything we get has to be gotten rid of when we leave, and that keeps purchases down.
I made Quiche Jambon Fromage at the weekend. I used the recommended Compte cheese cut into cubes, so you can really taste the cheese. Fiacra seemed to like it, at least he ate a large slice with no complaints. Ailbhe ate some. Connell was surprised how much he liked it. I loved it. We will have this a lot during the summer. I will also try the other quiche recipes.
Our Friday lunches are helping with our French food discovery. Since the last school break, we only missed a single Friday lunch when Finian was sick. We will resume when the kids are back at school. Both Connell and I look forward to them, I'm not sure about Finian.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
The kids now have two weeks off school. We leave on Wednesday for the Pyrenees for a week. I hope Finian is better by then.
Friday, April 8, 2011
I asked Ailbhe why she thought we needed a TV. "How can we check the weather if we don't have a TV?" was her first reply. I told her that we always check the weather on the computer. "Well, how do we know if there's a soccer game on, that we might want to watch?" Okay, I am detecting a strong Irish influence here, the weather and soccer - Grandad!!!!!!!
Why don't our kids watch TV? Well up to now, they have never really asked and we don't suggest it. Why do we let them watch the Pink Panther, for instance? Because it's hilarious and they get the jokes. I have to get a video of Fiacra laughing at the Inspector and Deux-Deux.
Yesterday afternoon, he was very out of sorts and had a temperature so I took him to the doctor again. Now he has a throat infection. We are giving him paracetamol every 4 hours to keep his temperature down, two prescription medications in the morning and 3 at night, for a grand total of 52.5 ml of medicine a day. He hates it, and is getting very adept at spitting it out. If we had infant Tylenol, which is 5 times more concentrated than the paracetamol here, this would be down to 28.5 ml, a bit more manageable.
Summer visitors, please bring us some infant Tylenol.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Fiacra had brought a note home from school describing the carnaval activities. The kids would leave the school at 2:30pm, parade around the streets and end at the park close to the school. At the park, Monsieur Carnaval would be judged and burned. We were intrigued.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
the river, where the others were waiting.
We set up the beach tent to shelter Finian from the wind. The tide was coming in, we were keeping an eye on it as it could quite quickly gain a few meters up the beach. We thought it was getting a bit close so we moved the tent and all our stuff back away from the water. I was trying to get a photo of Ailbhe so wasn't watching the waves. The waves suddenly surrounded us, surprising us all. I grabbed my purse and the picnic basket out of the water, and saw all the sand toys, my sandals, and the kids crocs disappearing into the waves. I focused on my keen sandals (no way was I losing these) but it took a few minutes and a good soaking for me to get them. The surfers who were on the beach all rushed into the water to help us and I don't think we lost anything. When we got to the beach, I did wonder why everyone was sitting so far from the water, now I know.
Friday, April 1, 2011
I went for my first run today since I hurt my knee at Oktoberfest - nearly six months ago. I had to pick up a rental car for the weekend and Fiona suggested I run instead of taking the bus. Then Ailbhe chimed in, "Yeah, Dad. You should run. It will be good for you." It felt like an intervention.
I had thought about making a New Year's resolution to run 100 times this year. Luckily, I didn't say it out loud. Nobody knows.
So, I ran 3.5 km. It started with a hill. An uphill.
At first I felt strong. Then I felt fast. Then I felt slow and weak. Once when I stopped for traffic, the driver let me go ahead. Jerk! I ran by a lovely church with a double steeple. I stopped to enjoy the view - and breathe.
99 more runs - 274 more days. Don't tell anyone.