So much to write about and so little time! Tonight's post is very loosey goosey, so bear with me.
It's been a long, rough week at our house. Work was busy, which meant I brought a lot of it home. Usually I'm pretty good at balancing it all out, but this week I was a little "work heavy" and things really suffered on the home front. I'm glad it's the weekend and I can recalibrate myself and my kids so we feel normal again. None of us were very nice to each other from Wednesday evening until bedtime tonight! But now we're back to okay.
Tomorrow is March 1st and that brings a whole list of things to do. After such a wonderful Advent season, I'm really hoping to do some special Lenten activities to and with and for the girls. I've always loved the idea of using Lent as a time to give something up. To simplify. To focus. To feel a little pain in order to understand a much greater pain. This week, when I stepped back to think about what I might give up, the answer was easy and clear and a little bit painful to think about - Facebook. I need to detox from that awesome and terrible soul sucking form of media. I have a million reasons why I shouldn't or couldn't, which is exactly why I need to. I need to give up that time and use it to focus on my family and myself, especially my pregnancy.
Second on my to-do list is get ready for this trip to France. I've read four thousand articles and blog posts on how to fly with kids, how to travel with kids, how to climb mountains and sail the seven seas with kids, and they all sound the same. They all have great advice (Benadryl for airplanes, snacks, toys, screens, etc.) but after all is said and done I learned one thing that I already knew in the first place: the only way we're going to have any fun at all on this trip is if I CALM THE HECK DOWN and try not to expect too much from myself or my kids. My imagination tends to run away with me, Clark Griswold style, and I end up with fantasies of touring the Louvre with my perfectly behaved and remarkably adorable and polite children holding my hands while they critique the art. It's just not going to happen! We're going to have a ton of fun, but it's all going to be on their terms, not mine. I have a feeling that once we are IN THE AIR, I'll feel better. We can't get kicked off a plane once it takes off, right? Just get in the air, and all will be well!
After I reign in my fantasies and give myself a reality check, I can start to think about the reasonable things we might be able to do IF the girls are up for it and all of us are in a fairly good mood. The alternative to these activities would be sleeping anywhere we want to sleep whenever we want to sleep. If my kids spend the entire trip on my in-laws' couch watching French cartoons....I'm good with that! But if they're interested in venturing outdoors for any part of our trip, I'd love to do the following:
1. See castles. Lots of them. Sylvain's dad lives in the region of France that is KNOWN for its castles! Sylvia will be in heaven.
2. Buy clothes, particularly a couple of adorable French Easter dresses. I'd love to take the girls out shopping with my mother-in-law or Sylvain's cousin.
3. Lay our eyes on the Eiffel Tower. Maybe even go inside. Or just lay on the lawn and stare at it until I cry. Take lots of pictures.
4. Have the girls' pictures drawn on Montmartre. I know, #3 and #4 are totally tourist cliche's, but it would be so neat to expose them to it while they're tiny.
5. Eat pain au chocolat and/or crepes for EVERY MEAL EVERY DAY. I'd love to take the girls to local patisseries to buy treats and goodies.
6. Visit the Gien plate place. I forget what it's called, but they have famous and expensive plates that they sell all over the world, and in Gien, you can go to the plate factory/shop and buy the discontinued sets or sets that are slightly irregular for CRAZY CHEAP! It's like the Gap Outlet for plates. I love it. I should probably go here alone, though, because Margot would literally be like a bull in a china shop.
7. Find a playground. This should really be #1. I'd love for the girls to PLAY and make friends.
8. Buy something for the baby. I don't know what yet, maybe something for the nursery or some keepsake. I feel like we're cheating by going to France before this one is born! It's like the kid will BE there but.....not really. Fetuses probably don't care if they're in France or Kentucky.
Anyway, those are the things I'm looking forward to and writing about them has made me feel much better and more prepared or organized in a crazy way. Of course, the biggest priority of this trip is for the girls to spend as much time with our family as possible. I hope they get to read books with Papie and Mamie Nelly. I hope they get to help plant seeds in Sylvain's grandparents' garden. I hope they want to sit on laps and sing songs and play games and talk talk talk talk talk! Even though I've been stressed and worried about the traveling, and even though I have no idea exactly how we'll be spending our time, I already know one thing: leaving will not be easy. We're not even there yet and I already don't want to leave! It's going to be a great trip, no doubt about it!