Sunday, March 30, 2014

7 months

Little Baby JoJo was 7 months old on Friday.  

He is an absolute joy.

Even though it's for sure he'll never take a nap longer than 30 minutes.

(That's totally OK - he sleeps almost 12 hours straight EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT.  LOVE this kid.)

He is talking more and more.  I've been speaking a lot less French.  We simply seem to be around people a lot lately and so Jo's not hearing it much.  A lot of his sounds are distinctly English.  Sometimes it sounds like he's saying his vowels!  When he's telling a story it's all "deh deh deh deh," and when he tries to say "Papa," he sticks his tongue out and uses it like he should his bottom lip for the "p" sound.  You tell me that's not genius!  

Oh.  It's not?  Oh ok.

Jonah loves bathtime at night.  Papa bathes him and they have this whole ritual.  I remember being a little wary of handing over the controls of bathtime, but heavens.  I could never have created the nightly extravaganza that is the bath in this house.  It's so awesome.

Jonah weighs a whopping 21.2 pounds and I'm pretty sure I'm getting carpal tunnel in my wrist from the way I wrench it to support his leg while I carry him on my right hip.  He is a hoss!!  Before a meal he nurses and then still eats between 3-4 jars of baby food.  His favorite veggies are squash and vegetable pasta.  He loves all fruits but his favorites are mango, strawberry, and apricot.  He hates anything with rice, and don't even ask about peas.  Peas are just wrong to Jonah.  

He is a happy, happy boy and loves being around people, and particularly loves going places and being around people with both his parents.  He's always up for an adventure with Mama and Papa.  It makes it so great because errands and restaurants are really easy!!

This weekend was full of adventure.  We got to see Uncle Greg and Greg Abbott, and Jonah went to his first time in the church nursery!!  (He did great until other parents were picking up their kids at the end and we weren't there yet.)

(He was a little bit upset with us after church.  But Papa has been one of the teachers in our Sunday school class and it was so nice for me to be able to pay full attention.  We both missed our Jo though!)

We're in love.  I'm completely aware we are total saps at this point.  The little big man has us wrapped around his chubby little fingers (along with the chunks of my hair he's constantly ripping out).

I came home from a baby shower this afternoon and found that Papa had cleaned the house, and organized the shoes by the door.  This is what I saw and I will cherish it forever:

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


The highlight of Jonah's week - Weeplay class 

Last week we spent an entire day running errands and when we got home Jonah was so ecstatic to be out of a car seat or stroller that he moved like nobody's business.  I taught him my brother's famous song he wrote when he was about four: "We're back we're back we're back from the mall."  You had to have been at the original live performance to get the full sheer GLEE with which it is to be sung.

And he finally made it to the DVDs

Jonah knows when his picture is being taken and usually poses (see above ham-ness).  In this pic (see below ham-ness) I told him this one was for Papa and he held this pose forEVER until I finally snapped the pic.  He likes looking at his videos and pics right after and he was verrrrry pleased with this one.  Ham I tell you.  All out HAM. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring "Break" 2014

Jonah's impression of my driving:

Good spring reading:

Livin' large:

Really large:

A nature hike and discussion of Intelligent Design:

Jonah says "I cannot even" to the fact that Irreducible Complexity does not convince everyone that there is a mind that designed our world:

Happy boy, tired parents.  People ask us all the time if we're so tired because we're up all night.  No, no...Jonah's an amazing sleeper at night - 10 to 11 hours straight.  I think it's more so the other 11-12 hours that are getting us.  

And the crazy part is, we wouldn't have it any other way.

(Except for maybe the way where Jonah takes longer naps.)

(Or the way where we make it to the glorious end of a successful purchase of a lotto ticket and we win...and we figured out how to find out if we've won.)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Nap Nirvana

We have been navigating the uncharted territory of the short nap at our place for quite a while now.  Uncharted because if I take a nap it's for 4 hours (seriously, I'm not kidding), and no one's ever heard Howard refuse the opportunity to nap, and we don't understand how anyone could say no thank you (or AaaaAaaaaaAaaaaAaaaa eeeee hawwwww eeeeee hawwwww warahhhhhhhhhhh!) to the request to 'please go lie down in a nice, dark room at the perfect temperature with some soothing white noise of waves at the perfect volume with this lovie and this paci and this wonderful cozy blanket, and - what's that you say? You need calm time first and then rock time and then bottom pat time and a gradual 30 minute decrease into the nap transition and then a transition from that transition into the falling asleep transition and then help transitioning from that transition into the bed?  And then again when you wake up 30 minutes later?  Ok.  Sure thing.'  

I know.

We're suckers.

We just can't do cry it out because our eyes get all puffy and my mascara runs.  So we're doing the sucker thing.  It works for us.  

Thankfully, it actually is beginning to work, and Jonah has had two GREAT naps today, one of which is occurring as I write, and I've already gone to the bathroom AND drank a glass of water.........

Of course as soon as I typed that he woke up!  Here he is while we sing "I feel good, I knew that I would now, I feel nice, like sugar and spice, I feel good, I feel good, cause I got a nap..."

He's like what did I do?  Why are we partying?

Now he either thinks it's a snow day or his birthday.  

Love me some sweet Jonah baby and his picture smile:

Yesterday our school family threw us a sip & see prayer shower and even gave us a ton of books!!  It was so special.  Lucky little 'community baby' as one friend deemed him. :-)

Here were the scriptures prayed over Jonah:

We were so honored, especially since our shower fell in a week of unbearable loss in our community.  We love doing life with these precious people.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A (wannabe) voter interview

The Joy of Galoshes hit the (kitchen) streets this morning to get a feel for the post primary buzz among (wannabe) voters.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Go Vote!

February 2013 - the first time Jonah met Greg Abbott.  Can you see little baby Jojo? : )

Saturday, March 1, 2014


Linking up with Kelly again for a SUYL (Show Us Your Life) topic on favorite vacation spots!

Obviously.  I'm a French teacher.

I mean would you have guessed any other place?

Paris!  Half my heart lives there!  I left it there on purpose so I could always return.

Kind of like how I seriously considered leaving my passport when I first visited in high school so that I wouldn't be able to go back to the states.  

I get homesick for Paris.   I know it in and out, I breathe it...the rhythm of its people getting from one metro stop to the next, the music of ordering a pain au chocolat, the dance of eye contact with strangers on a train, the proper-but-truly-friendly-when-you-understand-it nuanced song of social interaction, the dancing of pedestrians walking down a rue, the chorus of café chatter and gaze of coffee drinkers fixed upon nothing and upon everything, the high of stimulating conversation, the feeling of being in the center drumbeat of the entire world.

The halves of my heart at a rare meeting

I don't care that it's cliché.  It's nothing short of exhilarating.  

There is absolutely no way I can cover all that I love to do and see in France in one post.  After living a semester abroad in Clermont-Ferrand and getting to visit all over France, and making a couple trips back to Paris since then, I could write posts and posts about just one tiny little town that my Dad and I visited and where he taught me how to drive a stick shift on a tiny farm road.  Or I could tell you about where Howard and I discovered the best lasagna you'll ever taste - like KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF WHAT HAVE I BEEN CALLING FOOD ALL THESE YEARS kind of lasagna.  Or about Monaco and how it is a gem within a gem.

But we don't have time for that, or even all that I love to do and see in just Paris, so here are the highlights.  


1. Ladurée.  Stay and dine inside in the coolest little nook-type rooms.  Be sure to eat some fresh macarons!  I talk about them so much some of my former students brought me some, from Ladurée in Paris, and delivered them to my house when I was pregnant with Jonah.  I have a rough job.

 NB:  When I was putting in the link above I learned there's a Ladurée in NYC now!  O.M.G.! (When I type that it means "Oh my goodness.")

2.  Sidewalk cafés aren't like restaurants here - there aren't many differences in style  or type of food (hint: they're all French), and they're all excellent.  Just pick one, plan to slow down and stay awhile, and be sure to order a café crême.  Then you'll be wondering what you've been calling coffee all these years.  

Oma and Opa in Paris before they were Oma and Opa...aren't they so cute?!

3.  Ile Saint Louis.  It's the area behind Notre Dame.  Go there.  Get Berthillon ice cream.  Wonder what you've been calling ice cream all these years.  Then get some more.

4.  I wish I could remember the name of it, but there's a hot chocolate bar in the Latin Quarter  (Latin because it's the student district and in the 1950s kids started speaking Latin there to avoid being understood by adults...and because speaking Latin is just cool) that's incredible and hopefully the mad scientist guy that mixes one of the hundreds of concoctions of hot chocolate varieties (I'm talking a FOUR page back and front 10 POINT FONT SINGLE SPACED menu of nothing but hot chocolates) still works there.

Sorry I can't remember that one's name, but this one looks amazing too.


1.  The Eiffel Tower at night when it glitters.  I always hesitate to tell people it does that because I didn't know the first time I saw it, and it made for a breathtaking moment.  I'll never forget walking back to the metro stop to head back to my hotel when I saw sparkles reflecting in the all the windows of buildings.  I turned around to see the Tower in all her glory.  It was nothing short of magical.

2. Go to the top floor cafeteria of Les Galeries Lafayette.  It has the best view of Paris.

The view is amazing, but this is what I felt compelled to photograph last time I was there, ha!
3.  Musée D'Orsay.  My favorite museum in Paris is actually not the Louvre.  It's Musée D'Orsay, this great museum-once-train station.  It's a lot easier to get in and out of, and it houses a great collection of Van Goghs.  Ohhh..the Van Goghs.  No digital or printed image does justice to the real things.  


Hotel des Mathurins.  It's all glam.  It used to be more affordable, but I guess the secret is out.  It's a little pricier now, but still doable, and especially worth what you get.  The customer service is supreme, and they scent their air with an amber aroma.  Did you get that?  THEY SCENT THEIR AIR.  Oh.  My heart.  I'm coming for you.


And this leads us to smell. Please.  A moment of silence for me to even speak this word to you.

It's a real perfumerie.  What I mean by that is it's one of 300 places in the world where a Nez ("nay") which means "nose" works to create perfumes, which mixtures are then sold as patented rights to labels such as Chanel.

A perfume organ

The final product

I'm obsessed.

As in my Dad was a little worried when he visited me in college and we walked in the store and they knew my name.

That kind of obsessed.

Ah, Paris, je t'adore.  I'll see you again in 20 years.

I would love to hear back from you if you visit, if you tried any of these few tips, and what you think!

*All photos in this post are by Hillary Short and are subject to copyright.