Sunday, April 29, 2012

Courage, my heart

With just a little over a month to go, we found out our beloved family cottage was destroyed by fire. We will continue to France as planned, however will add designing our new cottage before we leave so it can be built while we are away to the list of things to do. I have a VERY talented family. A lot of mementos lost, I suspect our new cottage is going to have a lot of French flavour. Hopefully shipping isn't too costly!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Excuse moi, parlez Francais?

The main reason we are going to France is so that I can learn French. My initial plan was to take classes in France, however, I tried to take some classes in Toronto, which was a total fail. The F man got strep throat, which I then got, and between the two of us being sick, I missed nearly half of the classes. I was thinking that Peter could be my teacher, but he only has three weeks off, leaving me without a partner, father for my children and French teacher. While I can't replace the partner/father part, we thought a French speaking Au Pair could be a helping hand and teacher. After putting the word out, a friend of ours got us in touch with her niece in Quebec City, et voila! An Au Pair! We are super excited to have Alexe join our family. We are also excited to think we might be able to have some regular date nights - at least for three weeks. We met Alexandra a couple of weeks ago while she was visiting family to celebrate the baptism of a very very loved baby. It went very well, the boys really liked her and thank goodness they were reasonably well behaved. It will be a transition for all of us, but I am sure we will settle into a routine within a week or so. Once we are on French soil, there will be no more English spoken, which is going to be an exercise in patience for me. I talk A LOT, and I have A LOT of French to learn before I can maintain any sort of conversation. Let's hope I am a quick study!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I love Paris in the Springtime......

Before we drop Peter off at the airport, we are spending a week in Paris. A whole week! The eiffel tower, the louvre, the food, l'amour! We were a little worried about taking the children to Paris, but it appears to be a very child friendly city with lots of activities suitable for families. Again, we are using a self catering apartment, because we are not interested in taking tired, cranky kids to restaurants. It is going to be great to have our AuPair A with us, taking turns with the kiddos. We have had a few reccomendations from friends, le Centre Pompidou, le Bateaux Mouche and the Paris Pass. It will be such a change for us, we have spent very little time in big cities, but always enjoy Montreal and Toronto when we do. I need to work a bit with the kids on street safety, the L man will talk to anyone who makes eye contact, and I have to stay on top of the G man to keep him off other peoples lawns and from walking into traffic. We'll go the in usual Tate style, keeping it simple and on the down low. I hear Paris has some incredible parks! We are meeting our AuPair A for the first time in person next weekend. We are all very excited to meet her!