Monday, October 27, 2008

Jury Duty

I have been summoned to jury duty. I always think it sounds exciting and a great opportunity to participate in a part of the system that makes this country great, but every time I get a summons, I groan. This one begins December 22nd. Thank goodness I'm not leaving town for Christmas.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Diaper Bag is finished

After some tears, screaming, getting mad at Scooter (he likes to help), and swearing, I finished my diaper bag. I realize I'm having a boy but I figure he is not the one who is carrying the bag so I made something for me. It's probably the most difficult sewing project I have done.

The view from the inside shows a lot of pockets. This was a large portion of the frustration. Don't ask me why every pocket needed two pleats.

I must say, I look good with this bag. It screams "hip mom, ready to take over the world"

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Green means go

I have a fascination with street signs. I really love crosswalk signs. I don't know why, but that's who I am. Here's a sample from France. This one is walking up stairs. Appropriate since you are probably going to be walking up stairs in France.

I love the perspective composition on this one. How crazy..
This one tells you to stay within the crosswalk lines. How clever.
Your typical Paris walking sign.

So far, the French have the most creative crosswalk signs I have seen. Although, Vancouver, BC, has some pretty good ones too. My favorite, though, are the old ones in the former East Germany.

She's so crafty

Kelly finished Lil' Mathlete's booties this weekend. They're really cute.

A Typical Saturday Afternoon

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bad pants in France

So, one thing Steve and I did while in France is we documented all the bad pants we saw (if we could covertly get a picture) while in France. Here are our findings.

This guy doesn't have horrible pants (just short red shorts), but check out the mustache on the guy in the beret.

It's only fair that if I do a post on ugly pants, I include one of myself. Personally, I think these pants are great. They are roomy, long enough to be modest, and they have a bunch of pockets. Steve finds them completely unflattering.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I LOVE Sewing

This weekend, I got into using my new sewing machine for the first time. Right now, I am making curtains for our bedroom, booties for the baby, and a diaper bag. Hopefully, I will have pictures of my creations soon.

Now let me just acknowledge my new sewing machine and how nice it is. Everything runs smoothly, I can see the bobbin so I know when it is getting low, the button to choose whether you want your needle to land in the up position or the down position is fantastic, and Steve and I both love how quiet the machine is. We can have conversations while I am sewing. Soon I will have to find a project where I can use other stitches besides straight and zigzag sitching.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I know...I'm supposed to be posting pictures and stories from our recent France vacation, but I just had to write about tonight's debate.

The debate was intense at times, a little too negative for my taste, and relatively substance free. I wish both candidates would have answered the questions more directly (or at all in some cases). In the end, though, I think Obama came off looking cool, calm, and collected. John McCain seemed agitated and angry. Since the 2 said little of major substance I based my opinion of the debate on their behavior.

The extreme low point for the evening was when John McCain pointed to Obama and said with disdain, "that one". That was just uncalled for. I also loved the moment when McCain insulted the intelligence of the audience member who asked the question about how the bailout (i mean, rescue plan) will help ordinary people; I believe it was the 2nd question. McCain, said to the man, "you probably never heard of FannieMae or FreddieMac until recently." I hear the best way to win voters is to insult them.

I finished watching and wondered, how is John McCain planning to pay for a mortgage bailout (so much for government = bad), maintain a war in Iraq, conduct a surge in Afghanistan, and lower taxes? It just doesn't make sense.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Les Pics, part 2: the Sights, cont'd

Les Pics, part 1: the sights

The French Recap

Where to begin....
It all began with the 9 hour flight from Seattle to Paris where we all decided that we should have taken our 9-week French class a little more seriusly.

We landed in Paris, got through customs, and all that fun stuff, and jumped in the taxi to get to our apartment. Little did we know that we would be risking our life and safety by riding in a car through Paris. I don't think French cars have rear-view mirrors on them, or at least they don't use them. And, motorcyclist don't have to drive in a lane. Plus, apparently, a pedestrian walking in a crosswalk does not have the right-of-way.

45-minutes later after driving all over Paris we arrived at our apartment in the 6th Arr. on the Rue des Baux Arts (adjacent to the famed Ecole des Beaux Arts). It wasn't until we got to the apartment that we realized the we were located on the 5th floor (6th floor "French" as the rental company put it) of a walk up building. We carried our luggage (I carried Kelly's and mine) up 6 floors of steep, winding stairs. I will admit, though, that the view was amazing from the apartment. We could see Notre Dame, the Pantheon, and Paris spreading out.

Renting an apartment in Paris was the best decision. We were able to save money by cooking at home and eating out only at lunch. At the end of our week in Paris, we took all that saved money and ate at a nice French resturant near the Jardin Luxemburg. The aparment also had a washer and dryer so we didn't have to wear the same dirty clothes day after day. Unfortunately, the appliances weren't grounded so you got a serious electrical shock everytime to tried to touch your clothes in the washer.

Here's a travel tip: water + ungrounded appliances = painful shock.

We visited all of the typical Parisian sights: the Louvre, the Eifel Tower, Arc de Triumph, the patisseries, and McDo (French for McDonald's).

After Paris we spent 4 days in Nice, which isn't as nice as you would think. Nice was good, but I wouldn't spend 4 days there. We rented another apartment in Nice on the Rue Giofreddo near Old Town Nice. From Nice we visited Monaco, Antibes, and explored Nice itself. There really isn't too much to see in Nice so you kind of have to make daytrips from there. The really sad thing about Nice, is all of the cruise ship tourists who flock there. Most of the big cruise ships dock at Nice or near it on the Mediterrean Sea so there was an influx of puffy white tennis shoe tourists to get in the way.

Kelly ended up getting so bad food poisoning in Nice late Saturday night and Sunday morning. In case you're wondering, nothing is open on Sunday in Nice and everything closes at 9:00pm on Saturday.

Another, travel tip: don't get sick on the weekend in Nice.

Besides a few train blunders, a few bad bus rides, getting stranded on the side of coastal highway between Monaco and Nice, the trip was amazing and I want to travel some more.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

We're Home

Steve and Kelly at Versailles
Bop, Beep, Kelly and Steve at Antibes on the Cote d'Azur

Kelly and I are home from our amazing 2 week vacation in France. I'll give more details later, but we had a great time with our friends, Beep and Bop. We rented an apartment in Paris' 6th Arrodissement (the Saint Germain des Pres area near the Ecole des Beaux Arts) for 8 days. Then we spent 3 days on the sunny Cote d'Azure, France's Mediterranean coast. There, we rented an apartment in Nice and made day trips to Monaco and Antibes.
We had a few hiccups along the way: I lost my cell phone on the flight to France, Kelly got sick in Nice, I forgot basically everything I needed, we got on wrong trains, Bop constantly fought MasterCard, and the 4 of us shared 1 small bathroom with poor ventilation (if you know what I mean).
It was a great trip and we'll post our pictures in the next few days.
For now, we're glad to be home where we can understand people and read the signs.