Sunday, July 31, 2011

He Speaks!!

So I decided to get T a French tutor for the summer.  3 days a week for 3 hours a day.  

I put an ad on and in came the responses.  We met with two very qualified and very lovely ladies and T chose the one he wanted to work with.  She really is fabulous.  They play games, do crafts, draw, paint, sing songs, work in workbooks, read books, you name it.  She speaks to him 90% in French and only uses English to reinforce something.  

Making a Bateau de Pirate...

Preparing to sail it in the sea...can you spot them?? :)  I took this from my balcony on zoom.

It's been two weeks and the other day she said that she finds he's really comprehending most everything and she uses English much less.   AANNNDD that same "other" day...T started spewing out things in French.  Of course, he isn't carrying on a conversation, but he said a couple sentences and phrases in the correct circumstance and even corrected himself.  He's also teaching Emm words here and there.  

As I see it, a successful endeavor.  By the end of August I think he'll be doing really well and ready for school.  Now it's my turn!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Room for Two...

So, now that we're in and unpacked, we took a trip to our local "Ikea" called Fly.  

We were looking for furniture for the kid's room, bunk beds and such.  Now, I'm not a huge fan of the bunk bed since I heard that a large percent of emergency room visits for kids are from falling off the top bunk.  T has lost enough teeth thank you very much.  But in France, even down here, space is limited.  And they fell in love with the tent spaces.

So here is our adventure in pics...

They were huge fans of the tent style bedding...

Hmmm, but who gets to sleep on this bed?  Emm was putting her bid in on this one.

T zeroed in on his bed choice...

Emm's new boyfriend...
Seriously!!  I know smoking is big, but does one REALLY need an ashtray this big??

I really wanted to go to my favorite Ikea and get what I wanted, but the nearest one is two hours away.  So....

We ended up getting a bed like the pink one with tented space underneath from another company called Conforama, again like Ikea, but have to wait weeks for it to come in.  Didn't go for the ashtray, much to Emm's dismay, but did go with a little table and chairs (colored ones rather than the dull wood tone) for them to play with play dough and do art on.  

The room is coming together and they're having fun with each other playing in there.  That's about all I can ask for really!  Here is a pick of the before and after so far....

We're getting there...

I just love the monster blankets!  To be continued.....

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Our New Pad....

A week in review of sorts for you....

Last week was all about moving.  You'd think moving into a furnished place would be easy!  Nooooo, especially not when it's been empty for months.  I spent the first day just cleaning out the kitchen cupboards of old food that had hatched moths who ended up taking residence in the entire apartment.  Anyway, after days of cleaning and finally bringing over the 19 boxes we sent across the ocean, we're in, unpacking, and LOVING it!!

We started the move-in Monday, had T's birthday on Wednesday, celebrated Bastille Day with fireworks on Thursday, seen perfectly from our house, finished unpacking boxes over the weekend and are now relaxing on the balcony watching the boats come and go.

Here's a little video for your enjoyment. :)  You can look at the photos again...(here)

Haha, you'd think Youtube would pick a better thumbnail than what looks like a jail cell! :)

The La Reserve used to be a beautiful restaurant all the way back in the early 1900s.  Here is a newspaper pic of what it looked like.  There's still a restaurant here that looks quite fabulous and I look very forward to checking it out! :)

Our building in 1900
Our building now.  We're the whole top floor on this side!!
Kids use the old boat frame to jump off into the water. CRAZY!!

And lastly a couple pics of T's birthday...

Waking up to the Birthday fairy's delivery
He was sooo wanting a scooter

FINALLY, I'm 5!!
If you're jealous, then buy a ticket and come out! :)  But first, sign up to follow the adventure-it's cheaper!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dog Tales...

our little Charlie
Before we left for France we had to have Charlie checked out by a certified vet for his Medical Certificate, also known as the Pet Passport, and the vet pointed out that he REALLY needed his teeth cleaned.  So, once we got here and were settled, we made an appointment for him at a Vet clinic.

To our "used to being over priced for anything medical" surprise the visit cost us nothing.  Coz there was nothing wrong with him.  Are you serious?  No charge??  You don't need to charge me for blood tests, urine tests, fecal tests, an office visit, or a fee for simply touching him??  Nope!  In the US you can't get out of a healthy office visit for under $100; double that at minimum for a minor ailment. 

And then Charlie went in today for his cleaning and it was only 150 euros!!  ($210 US)  Compare that to the US where a cleaning is $400-500 at minimum.  The anestisia alone is $200.   

Watch out, I just might be encouraged to get another dog!!  It's such a deal!

And come to find out, the Doc told J that back when he was a kid there were Brussels Griffons everywhere in Nice.  This was a big breeding territory for them.  Now, you don't see them anywhere.  Until we came to town. :)  Bring on the Brussels Griffon Renaissance!!

Keeping watch on the neighborhood
Become a follower!  We'd hate for you to miss any of the adventure and we love the company!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Could This Be The One....

So today the infamous Sydney returned to work and J made sure he had all his paperwork for an application ready and appeared on her doorstep at 9am.  He made an appointment to see the apartment we'd been waiting a week to see.  

At 2:30 we entered....La Reserve...

It's the whole top floor on this side of the building.  The building basically hangs off the cliff at the edge of the water.  The building has been around for forever and seems to be quite famous.  There's still a restaurant on the bottom level and I'm sure we'll frequent it if we live there.  Would make for an easy walk home! :)

Entry hall, two bedrooms to my immediate left-just behind me

Small sitting room area leads to one of the sun rooms (seaside)
Dining area leads out to bigger terrace 

Ahhh, finally a table big enough for company 
Second sun room (road side) would make a good spare bedroom/kid's playroom

A little back balcony from the bedrooms to one of the sun rooms

Sorry, didn't catch J at the best moment :)

Needless to say we handed her our dossier right at the dining table and await word....Fingers crossed!!

UPDATE:  And the verdict's LOUE´, but to us this time!!  :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

And The Search Goes On...

Today we saw an apartment along the Promenade des Anglais just outside the Old Town.  LOVED it!  It had everything we wanted.  All our boxes were ticked.  It even had an extra little sitting room perfect for the kids to use as a play area. It was touching the top of our budget, but since it had everything as well as being a perfect location, we didn't mind.  

View from the little balcony (big enough though for a small table and chairs)
We went to lunch, since all offices close down from 12-2, and decided...YES.  I went home with the kiddies, and at 2:01 J entered the Realtor's office to see how much blood they wanted to start the process.

And guess what the answer was....Loue! (rented)  OF COURSE it is.  Because as we've found out, they all are.  At least by the time they get around to talking to us or showing us.  Even more confusing/frustrating...we were supposedly the first to see it!!  And why didn't the girl who showed it to us tell us that they had a contract pending on it when we were viewing it and saying how perfect it was????? Another one of those, if you don't ask or if it's outside the box, the information isn't divulged.

J is starting to smell a rat, or at least feel one is surely present if you aren't French.  I was actually talking to a girl, a French girl who grew up here-so she's authentic, and she said she heard that sometimes the Realtor will say it's already rented just because of your accent.  ie...if you aren't French, you aren't renting here.  She went on to explain that they have lots of trouble kicking out people who don't pay the rent and so they become even more cautious if you aren't even French.

Her boyfriend then told me a story about a woman who found that two men had broken into her home while she was away on holiday and she fought for SEVEN YEARS to get them out.  Now I don't know how true the story is, but WHAT????  

So....the search goes on.  We have hopes of viewing an apartment building right on the water called La Reserve.  And we're fully expecting Sydney (the realtor who's been on vacation) to tell us on Monday, when she returns from holiday and gets back to renting all those apartments she's left sitting, to tell's LOUE´.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions....Made.

Well, J and I had some decisions to make about schooling next year for T and E. After my not so pleasant day at the Terra Amata event, we had a sit down and weighed the options.  We have decided to keep T at the ABC School next year and put E into the half day program at Le Kids Club. 

(The Director's bad behavior wasn't the only reason!)

For Taylor it serves many purposes, a continuation of something familiar here as everything is still in flux and moving countries and languages must be a bit discombobulating (sp?), they have smaller classes so he won't get lost, and he knows the teachers and the kids.  

We decided to get him a French tutor for a few hours a few days a week over the summer to push his French language learning and I'll make some play dates with his school friends.  I find that when the kids are one on one they bond a bit better because they seem to just make it work, forget the language difference and get on with 
playing. Then their friendship in school is closer.  

For Emmerson, Le Kids Club has a half day "Pre-School program" with art, gym, music, dance, etc, so we signed her up.  She's gotten used to the environment and teachers at Le Kids Club while taking her two classes there so it will also be a familiar place for her.  AND she'll be immersed in French as well.  A big plus for us.

So there we go, a sigh of relief.  The kids decisions are done and mommy and daddy feel pretty good.  Now if we can just find an apartment we like we'll be set!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...