Sunday, 30 March 2014

mothering Sunday

Baby Lavender has a secret life. She goes to work everyday in nursery and tells me all about it every evening, then starts all over again for her daddy when he comes home (of course, we can only decipher so much of her da-da-da language yet...). Her carers tell me she's very active. We get a detailed written report everyday: what she's eaten, how much milk she drank, how long she slept, the toys she played with that day etc.
This morning she gave me the best possible present for mother's day beside the lovely card her carers made with her - she slept until 7! She must have known it was a special day to treat her mum. And to treat myself, whilst waiting for peony season, the lovely local spring blooms.

Happy mother's day to you!

Bébé Lavender mène une vie secrète. Elle part au travail tous les jours à la crèche et me raconte toute sa journée le soir, puis recommence pour son papa quand il rentre à la maison (bien sûr, on ne peut encore décoder que peu de son da-da-da...).  Ses nounous me disent qu'elle est très active. On reçoit un rapport détaillé tous les jours: ce qu'elle a mangé, combien de lait elle a bu, combien de temps elle a dormi, les jouets avec lesquels elle a joué ce jour-là etc.
Ce matin elle m'a fait le meilleur des cadeaux possibles pour la fête des mères mis à part la carte que ses nounous ont faite avec elle - elle a dormi jusqu'à sept heures! Elle devait savoir que c'était un jour spécial pour sa maman. Et pour me faire plaisir en attendant la saison des pivoines, les jolis fleurs printanières locales.

Joyeuse fête des mères à vous!
(pour celles qui vivent ici en tous cas)

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

one year old!

Can you believe my Baby is already one? I hardly can. And yet here we are, a whole year later, and drastically different in oh so many ways. I said I'd never baby-speak, I said I wouldn't lose it because of sleep deprivation, I said I'd make all her meals myself, I said...I said.
Well, we have done our best. We've coped,  and oh is it worth it! Baby is full of life, super smiley, nearly always in a good mood, and doing us proud with all her new tricks and accomplishments. The latest milestone on her birthday weekend was to stand all by herself without holding on to any furniture, naturally, as if this was routine for her. She still holds my finger when she has her night-time milk and gives the best cuddles. I know she's supposed to grow, but I hope she keeps doing those cute baby things for a long, long time. My baby.

Vous le croyez que mon Bébé a déjà un an? Moi j'ai du mal. Et pourtant nous y sommes, un an plus tard, et tout est complètement différent de bien des façons. J'avais dit que je parlerai jamais bébé, j'avais dit que je ne perdrai pas la tête à cause du manque de sommeil, j'avais dit que je lui ferai tous ses repas moi-même, j'avais dit...j'avais dit.
Eh bien, on a fait de notre mieux. On s'est débrouillés, et comme ça vaut le coup! Bébé est pleine de vie, toujours souriante, presque toujours de bonne humeur, et nous rend tous fiers de ses nouveaux trucs et réussites. La dernière chose qu'elle nous ait faite le weekend de son anniversaire, c'est de se tenir debout toute seule sans poser la main sur les meubles autour, comme ça, naturellement, comme si de rien n'était. Elle tient encore mon doigt quand je lui donne son lait du soir et fait les meilleurs calins. Je sais bien qu'elle est censée grandir, mais j'espère qu'elle continuera à faire ces petits gestes de bébé pendant longtemps, longtemps. Mon bébé.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

♥ 13 years ♥

Thirteen years ago I was studying for my masters in English and was living in a box room provided by the university. I'd already met Mr Lavender a few months before and we'd been out for drinks and had spent many an evening together with common friends. I was carefree and so was he. I had a part-time job in a restaurant that I loved (lots of tips = lots of new clothes all the time!) and didn't ever worry about the future.
In a lot of ways things have changed dramatically. We have already sort of grown old together. We've been on never-ending cheap road trips in Europe for our holidays, made and lost friends along the way, moved a couple of times, realised some of our dream trips, become more serious, put a few kilos on, finally got married and had a baby,etc. and...  we've always kept our complicity.
I wouldn't change any of it, for he still makes me laugh, still holds my hand when I need him to, but can also give me a push in the right direction when I am undecided...and he cooks like a chef!
Thirteen years already!
Last year I was persuaded that Baby would come on this anniversary date of ours, but she waited a few more days. Some of our NCT friends have started to celebrate their little ones' first birthdays though, so I embarked on this mini sewing project for them. I figure most couples will be snowed under with gifts for babies, so I made something useful for their wardrobe, and being the thrifty person I am, I used up some of my scraps.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

home and away

 ♥ Did I enjoy being away from my baby (and my gorgeous husband) for the first time?
A definite no. The nice thing is that I got to see a few lovely windows and stocked up on some home products. We used to have a whole cupboard full of French stuff that we called "le supermarché francais" but we never keep as much now. It's a very weird feeling being away from Baby for the first time, especially over the Channel - hello worst case scenarios...what if the shuttle breaks down and I'm stuck for 2 days? what if the husband can't cope without me? Guess what, they got on just fine without me!

♥ Home is where the heart is. Mine is in my little corner of London with my two favourite people around. It's far from perfect but I wouldn't change any of it right now. As a true capricorn, I am allergic to change anyway. That said, I think it might be time to make an alteration to the blog and capitalise on my language skills to write in my home language too, for those of you who follow me from France. But right now Baby has just woken from her nap, so duty calls.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

dreaming allowed

Probably the best perk of being a teacher is all the lovely trips you get to go on. Over the years I have been to France and Spain many times, of course, but also Germany, and loads of different places around the UK. I love a day out and often volunteer - well, who wouldn't? Beats sitting behind a desk.
 I loved making candles at the Jewish museum, having a lecture on perspective in Canaletto's paintings at the National Gallery, seeing amazing mosaics at Fishbourne, and of course watching plays. A couple of weeks ago I got to see the lovely Jude Law on stage for example. Nice!
Today I was allowed a bit of respite from the gruelling routine (it's hard going back after a week of farniente with baby) and spent the day at the museum. Amongst other things, the fashion gallery at the V&A really caught my eye, especially since I am reading Marie-Antoinette's biography at the moment. On display were some 18th century dresses and shoes, and they reminded me of that other book of mine on the fabulous work of Rose Bertin (I must have a look at it again soon!)

More inspiration came from the lovely floor mosaics in the corridors - they made me think of potential patterns for quilts. Speaking of which, I was surprised to see some limited-edition fabric for sale in the shop. I purchased some years ago when they had their quilt exhibition, but they still had some of the old pattern ones and a couple of new ones. I refrained from buying any - goodness knows how. Maybe the bulging stash I have at home is just begging to be used up a bit before being replaced. Maybe. Food for thought!

Monday, 24 February 2014

This month I like...

flowers beds in complete bloom everywhere in our local park, something like a magical carpet
♥ feeling much better after a horrible few days with tonsilitis
♥ spotting birds in the trees outside my windows and out and about
♥ baking a couple of new recipes
♥ browsing stationery over at Paperchase. I know it could be called an obsession but there's nothing I can do about it. Every time I step foot in this shop I see a little something I like. Last time it was that desk organiser from the Woodland collection. Well, it does seem like the essential item to lead a more organised life, doesn't it?
♥ watching some old-school Ally MacBeal on DVD - the perfect no-brainer before going to bed

Wednesday, 19 February 2014


This week has been all about pink so far. Baby has new PJs with the most adorable collar and bodysuits full of my favourite matriochkas. My devoted husband has decided to bring home some flowers for Valentine's night - to my confused look, as we never do anything to mark the occasion. Beautiful flowers though, I am really enjoying them. And I was made up with the tasty meal he cooked for us this weekend too.

Rosy things:
* started a  mini sewing project for upcoming birthdays
* made my first carrot and walnut cake and it was yummy
* getting baby to sleep with the Stone roses - she is one cool chick already!
* watching a bit of ice skating on catch-up TV and re-reading Marie Antoinette's biography
* the return of the sewing bee

Less rosy things:
* being sick during your one and only week of holidays
* your baby girl being sick and waking up in floods of tears with toothache

Hopefully we'll be better before the week is over. I blame the lack of cold weather. Still, it's not too late for a big snow system to hit us. Fingers crossed.

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