Friday, October 9, 2009



So we finally made it to Paris after a truly grueling 8 hour drive. We should have followed everyone's advice and not driven INTO Paris. It took over an hour once we actually hit the streets of downtown. These people drive like idiots. We just thought that the Germans were aggressive. On top of that you have 14 gajillion people all over the sidewalks and roads. It is amazing that this many people are in one area. Motorcyclists make their own lanes in between regular lanes and regular lanes many times don't have anything dividing them so it is pretty much nutty all around. With that being said, Brent did an OUTSTANDINGLY AWESOME job driving us. If we had only known that 30 meters before our hotel the road was completely ripped up, we would have made it to the hotel much earlier. I finally jumped in the back seat with the kids and they finished with an outstanding job as well. I guess I'm the only one who didn't do so well with this trip. It seemed like it took forever and my nerves were pretty much shot by the time we entered the busiest part of Paris. Needless to say, we arrived, it is just as I expected only bigger and more crowded, a little dirtier on the streets, but all in all BEAUTIFUL! The night life is booming here. There are little cafes everywhere.

Here is our hotel room. It's cute, but it is a lot more expensive than what we're used to paying in the states.

Tonight when we went out to eat, the little chinese waitress saw Sadie sleeping and me struggling to hold her, so she came over and took her while I ate. So sweet of her and it was nice for me, too. Mason caught wind of this immediately and did not like her taking his Sadie at all! He said he needed to go over there to make sure they didn't take her! He was totally jealous, too, but it was kind of sweet (once you get past the annoying part) that he is so protective of her. He became foolish and climbed under the table in which the lady was holding Sadie so they bribed him out with a lollipop. That was a bit embarassing.

Of course, the trip has already had SO many disasters I can't begin to count them. We hope all will smooth out tomorrow.


Well, we've decided that we're pretty much your test pilots. See, we're doing the hard work so that we'll have things somewhat figured out when you all decide to come over here :0) So today started off with our breakfast in the hotel. It's 10 euros per person including Mason. Kind of crazy if you ask me...especially since all you get are french baguettes and croissants and jellies with some SUPER STRONG French coffee. Oh well, I guess we won't get that next time! Next, we decided we would check into the open air tour buses since we are only close by foot to some things. We really discovered a gem in doing this. It was 79 euros for Brent, Mason, and I for 2 days and totally worth it. There are over 50 stops in Paris amongst 4 separate routes that you can get off at. All of the major stops that are high on a tourist's list are on one route, so it's easy to keep up with. Also, you get headphones that you can plug in at your seat, select your language, and get info. about everything as you're passing by. Pretty nifty! So, today we got to see Cathedral of Notre Dame, but it was way crowded, so we are going to save that for another trip, we walked up the Arch du Triomphe, walked and shopped a bit on Champs Elysee and we went up the the 3rd level of the Eiffel Tower (that's the highest). We even got to see a few extra things on our bus ride. Lines are decently long at all of the major attractions, but this is pretty much the opportunity of a lifetime, so we prioritized what we most wanted to see and did it! We also did all of this sans stroller! It was crazy, but both of the kids did amazingly well considering. We weren't sure how stroller accessible things were, so we didn't want to deal with the hassle. Sadie stayed in her Baby Bjorn most of the day and Mason walked most of the day with a few trips on Daddy's shoulders or Mommy's hip. He even walked up (and did a much better job than me) the 284 steps up (and down) the Arch du Triomphe. The in between part in which we wanted to see out and around the city was where he had several major meltdowns and became a devil child! He also didn't like getting on the elevator to go up the eiffel tower, but he did well once we got on and made it up! While waiting in line, he got a mini eiffel tower and decided to take his lightning mcqueen and beat the eiffel tower to pieces. I think Brent thought that we might either get arrested or beat up for disrespect. Later on we were taking night pics at the arc du triumph and Mason was kicking dirt and Brent said something to him again. I just laughed because he is only 4 after all.

The kids and I at a cafe after a long day!
L'Arc du Triomphe
Oh...and get this! We ate at Madrigal, a restaurant on Champs Elysee, and you wouldn't believe how much it cost! I thought about my sister when we got our bill for an oreo milk shake, an iced vanilla latte, a water, cheeseburger, and grilled chicken sandwhich. It was 60something euros. That equates to around 90 dollars! Pretty nutty, huh? Kim would have had a heart attack right then and there. Later on we ate at one of the stands on the side of the road so we didn't pay so much.

I really wanted to find some boots here because that and leggings seem to be the in thing, but it's just hard to do when you have kids with you. I guess that calls for a trip out here my coffee ladies (or Kim and Ashlee)!

We have plans to go to the Louvre tomorrow followed by day time pics at the eiffel tower followed by the invalides (Napoleon's tomb) then back to the eiffel tower to take pics at night! We hope it turns out prettier than Champs Elysee did. They have tons and tons of lights and crystals in the trees that line the road, but they didn't come on tonight! We may just try to be super touristy and eat at the Hard Rock Cafe tomorrow for lunch, too!

Bonsoir to you all!


We started the day off at the Louvre with massive crowds taking
pictures of a super small Mona Lisa. Seriously, why is this painting so famous? Of course I had to wait amongst all of the crowds to get my picture too, but that's beside the point. It is so small and you can't get that close, it's guarded and there's not even a line formed to take pictures. Some of the other paintings were much more impressive and about the size of a wall in a regular room.

Now, there's always a truth to a stereo type and we ran across one today. Asian tourists in general love to take pictures! They were walking around and if you looked at their camera I'm sure what you would see just taken in pictures would almost look like a continuous video camera because they were walking along and clicking almost constantly! They are apparently also in love with babies or baby girls or Sadie's hairbows. I'm not sure which one, though. They stopped in front of us (many times) and were in AWE of miss Sadie. They even took a picture of her and of them with me and her. Brent got his camera out at this point and thought it was so funny that he took a picture of them taking a picture with Sadie and I. Next, I made the mistake of letting Brent roam the Egyptian collection by himself while I sat and fed Sadie and Mason napped and when he came back, he had taken so many pictures of the artifacts that I am surprised we had more room on the SD card!

Mason with his Pluto balloon on the bus after leaving Hard Rock Cafe.

Mason and Daddy at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Anyhow, we left the Louvre and ate at the Hard Rock Cafe. We didnt' take any pictures of the outside, though, so I guess we can't really prove that we've been there. It sure took a long time to get there by foot seeing as we walked about as far around it as we possibly could have (and then past it) and had to come back to it before we ever made it in. This made our day run a little late, so we left there and went to take pictures at the Eiffel Tower and missed the tomb where Napoleon was buried. When we got there, it was beginning to rain, so we took what we could and left. It was almost dark, so we decided to go and grab a dessert (to the tune of $60) even though we had not eaten dinner so that it could get dark and go back to take pictures of the Eiffel Tower at night. It continued to rain but we persevered and went back to see the Eiffel Tower lit up in red and white and to watch it sparkle. It was pretty much GORGEOUS although I hardly got to enjoy it because I was too busy trying to fiddle with my camera and get the setting just right for some good pics. While we were there, the street vendors stayed on Mason like white on rice. First of all it doesn't help that the ratio of tourists to vendors is like 1:1 or even worse and secondly, that we have a cute, little endearing spoiled rotten 4 year old who wants 2 of everything he sees. Mason's famous line was, "Well, I'll give this one to my cousin, Payne," if he decided he wanted something else. How sweet of him to give his used, left over souvenirs away!

All in all, it was an awesome get away for the weekend and we will definitely be going back again!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I'm a Brave Woman!

(written the third week in september)

Well, Sadie is finally sleeping in her own bed! I figured it was time to move her since she is as long (or a little longer) than the bassinet and as big as it is, too, so for two nights now, she's slept fine, but I can't say the same for her Mama! No, really and truly, I have slept okay but it has taken me quite a while to get to sleep. Once she starts tossing and turning which is usually an hour or more before she actually wakes up, I'm of course up, too. You've got to remember that this baby has been either in the bassinet (before we moved and since we moved into our house here in Germany) in our bedroom, in the moses basket (in Georgia) in our room, or actually in our bed in the hotel because she didn't have a crib there, so this is HUGE for me. You also may recall that Mason was a very similar situation. He was in our bedroom in a bassinet until Brent deployed and then I went back to Georgia and he was in a crib in my room until he got older and I decided to move myself down the hallway. This whole baby thing in another room is for the birds. Mason, bless his heart, had a monitor in his room until we moved here, and the intention was to get another monitor for his room, but I have stuck it out and he does just fine without one. Of course I can hear him...I never fall asleep without being on baby alert!

Sadie has also officially turned 4 months old (according to the actual day of the month). Mason helped me out with this. He even took pictures with his cell phone (doesn't really work)! Sadie is becoming quite the chatter. Mason claims she's actually saying words all of the time! She is also a bit of a fussy baby. The mornings typically start out pretty good, but by mid day, she'll scream her lungs off if you're not carting her around while you're trying to get things done. It depends on the day as to whether I actually give in or not. Most days at some point I give in for sanity's sake. The girl loves to eat and most days end with nursing, cereal, AND a bottle! She will be sitting up before we know it because she's nosy (like her Daddy...HA HA...more like her Mama). She can put her paci in and out, but she really would like to become a thumb sucker. Her smile and laugh are the cutest darn things around. Her hair is growing back on the top of her head (STILL) and it is just long enough to stick STRAIGHT UP! Everyday is new for her and Brent because he missed this time with Mason so it's fun to watch the two of them together.

Since I give so many odds and ends updates on Sadie, here's some on Mason. First off, he is growing unbelievably fast. I tried some jeans on him before we left for here and now that we need them, they no longer fit! He showed me his arms as they were stretched out and said, "I'm getting bigger. See how my arms are getting bigger like this." He wears his underwear backwards so he can see the picture. He is loving going to school every day. He is learning the concept of time, but is still very confused with it. He is also learning the difference in the days of the week. He loves to do the limbo at school. He is still soaking up everything he hears you talking about and uses it in the correct context most of the time when he decides to regurgitate it...even the bad things! He is compassionate about all of his loves like transformers, v-smile, cars, legos, you know all the boy things! He is the best big brother we could have ever asked for. He loves Sadie. He will help out on almost anything as long as it involves her. He loves to sneak in and sit in her things like her swing and bouncy seat. He does have a bit of jealousy but it's not expressed in a bad way. You always know if you're sweet talking her and he's in ear shot, he's going to come join you. He loves to help cook. Cleaning the dishes is pretty great, too. He's pretty much a Mama's boy and has a mini breakdown if I have to go somewhere and he's not with me (except for school). He is really interested in the things that Mommy and Daddy did when they were little.

Well, that's all for this post. Maybe I'll get around to posting about our adventure last weekend before we head out on another one this weekend.

P.S. Just to make you all jealous, here's what's in the works in the next month: Paris, France, Austria, and Rome, Italy! It's rough being over here and having the time to travel!