Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Part Two...Monaco.

So here's a disclaimer:  There are a lot of photos in this post.  And you probably won't want to look at all of  them.  :)  So sorry.  But I do want to look at them, so just scroll through if you get bored out of your mind.

So here's something you don't see everyday, but if you lived in Monaco, you would. They are everywhere.  And I wonder, does the average citizen get training in say, elementary school, on how to use a defibrillateur? Just in case....

 The yachts.  I think it's a law that you must have a yacht if you live in Monaco.
 The markets...
 The Casino!  Remember the Casino in Monte Carlo from the James Bond movie Casino Royal?  Well this is it.  The inside is SPECTACULAR...I have some pictures somewhere, but they must be on one of our phones...
 The Oceanographic Museum...
The Louvre Museum.  And no, it is not in Monaco.  Clearly we are in Paris now.  I must admit, I cried when I saw this sculpture.  It is AMAZING.  So beautiful, yet fragile, absolutely perfect.  The Winged Victory of Samothrace.  I am in love.
The Eiffel Tower is more beautiful then I ever imagined.
The actual Mona Lisa.  I was unfortunately underwhelmed.  It was highly protected, extremely crowded. And very small.  Still.  I feel like it was something I needed to see.
The very cold, yet romantic Seine River cruise.  I'm not sure which bridge this is.
The Eiffel Tower is "This Big!"

Buddy Bears exhibit, painted by famous artists, one for each country. 

Top of the Eiffel Tower.  A little scary.  I'm grateful the elevator was glass otherwise I don't think I could have made it up the whole way.

The beautiful Notre Dame.

Sincerely loved the gothic architecture.

These gargoyles are amazing.

Getting to the top of the Cathedral proved exciting?  I didn't realize I am very claustrophobic, until I began the ascent in a teeny, tiny, circular staircase, which goes on forever.  And no real windows or air to speak of.  Not to mention being crammed in their with people inches in front and behind you.
Let's just say Panic Attack.
Adam saved me and dragged me the rest of the way up. 
Not my favorite experience.  But glad I have pictures to prove I did it.

Sacre Cour

They light it red at night.  Mysterious. is a massive, massive place.

Inside Versailles...still massive.

Adam was getting really tired of me taking his picture.

The maze hedges in the Versailles gardens

Oh, I hurt myself.  Oh yes.  I forgot.  Before we left, I knocked a HUGE vase off a shelf and it landed on my foot.  I am a genius.

Monday, October 22, 2012

We Did it!

We're here!  We made it.  I can't believe we actually got on a plane, traveled across the US and the Atlantic and plopped ourselves down in this Mediterranean wonderland.  Gorgeous Monaco!

The amount of packing/arranging/schedule making/cleaning/phone calls/shopping/leaving of a beautiful 6-month-old/caring for 5 kids while Mom is away/, is a miraculous feat in itself.  But yes, we did it.  What am I saying?  I mean, I did it.  Adam just packed his bag. :)  Oh, and made the travel arrangements---
 which I do appreciate.  Who could not appreciate this spectacular eye candy?
And to be honest, when Adam told me he had business here, I didn't even really know where Monaco was.  Shhh, my world map skills have much to be desired.  So, if you're like me, here you go:
This is a teeny, tiny, baby country.  While full sized in the enchantment department, the land mass is smaller than the town I live in...which is saying something.
The is us at a party at a place called 'Stars and Bars', very American.  I would say that Monaco leans favorably towards Americans (finally someone likes us!)  The skyline is GORGEOUS.  This sad little camera phone picture does it no justice.

This is the view outside our bedroom window.  I got a little spoiled waking up every morning to this!
Another BEEE-UTIFUL view.

And by the way, these cars are the norm in Monaco.  Luxury abounds here...I guess there is no taxation...but still it makes me wonder what people do for a living?  Also, it was so safe there.  A nice lady from Germany said to me, "Monaco is wonderful.  It's like stepping out into your living room."
The elevators were like a disco...techno lights, music and covered in cow print.  Really, it's what every elevator needs....

On top of the Oceanographic can see all the way to Italy and France.  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Good-bye September. Hello October!

This was our Family Day of Fun on Labor Day.  And it really was a LONG old day of fun because we let the kids set the itinerary.  First, ICE AGE 3...or was it 4?  Whichever it was, it was the best ICE AGE movie they have made yet.  Second, BOWLING.  That was Lucy's choice.  Who knew she was such a bowler?  Third:  Subway for sandwiches and cookies.  Fourth:  Salt Lake City, to the Church History Museum, (Sophie's Choice), Fifth:  Temple Square, and finally SIXTH:  City Creek to watch the awesome synchronized fountain, browse the Disney Store, and to eat Chick Fillet and play at the playground.  Whew!  I'm tired just typing all of that.  We really tried not to say NO that day...especially since on all other days that seems to be my favorite word.  We had a great family day!

Braces for the King. 
I must admit, he looks quite handsome, even though he soon complained of the pain and had to stay home from school...wink wink. 

Lola Mae trying on her first Halloween Costume.  Clearly, she's not too sure if she likes Halloween, but then...
Okay, she likes it.  "Being a pumpkin is my favorite."

And this picture is just because.  Just because Lucy said, "Take my picture."   And I always obey, because she is the Boss of Everything.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Lovely Lola

We did it!  We survived, in fact, in may ways we thrived with this lucious little one.
She's 6-months-old and proud of it!
 Just one question.  Why can't they stay like this for a long while?  I love this age. 
Every little bit of it. 

And my dear cousin Alyssa took these beautiful photos.  So glad she could capture these moments.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Look Who's Sleeping!

Can we just cheer? Please? A nice loud cheer would be really great right now, because someone has slept TWO nights in a row for eight hours without interuption. YES! We have turned a corner people and this child is on her way to nights full of ZZZZZ's. 
Which then means that I am on my way to some ZZZZ's. 
Dearest Sleep,
It has been too long. 
Thank you for still being there, even if you have been sadly 
ignored these last eight or more months.  I love you. 
There I said it.  I love you sleep.
Love, Jen
We'll see what happens this next week, but I have my hopes up. 
And just as an aside---I was doing all sorts of reading about how to get your child to sleep through the night.  I was determined not to let her cry it out.  I just couldn't do the whole cry it out sleep training thing.  Maybe because she's my last, or maybe because I've gotten soft in my old age, but I couldn't bear it. (BTW my doctor said, "Good luck.  Because all babies need to cry a little.")  Which is probably true, but I thought I would try.
Anyway, I read that if your baby isn't getting her proper rest during the day (ie, really good naps) then she won't sleep well at night.  This statement made this biggest difference for us.  Lola was not a great napper.  As soon as I got that under control, then nightime soon fell into place.
I read, "No Cry Sleep Solution..." Although I don't agree with everything she said in this book, I really gained some valuable knowledge about babies and sleep, which help me decide how I was going to try to get Lola to sleep through the night.  Fingers crossed that she continues to sleep.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Lucy G Strikes Again

So I thought of it!  You know, the one thing better than cleaning my house since the kids went back to school?  Lunch.  Going out to lunch of course.  The only thing is, I bring my little Lucy and Lola with me because we're a packaged deal.  Nice, right?

But after Lucy eats for 3.5 minutes, she's bored (even with all the things I bring for her to do).  So she's decided she likes to take pictures with my phone.

First things first...her lunch, the ultimate grilled cheese from Zupas.  It's a very grown-up grilled cheese for a very too-big-for-her-britches little girl.

 Of course, who doesn't want to take a picture of the baby?  No one, that's who.   Hello Lola!
 And then me, drinking my Lemon Dasani water.  Can I say, this is my FAVORITE beverage of choice and it is very difficult to find.  In fact, I think Zupas is the only place I can consistently get it.  I just want a case of it, is that too much to ask?
 And then the money shot.  And all I could think while flipping through her photographic masterpieces was, "Is that what I really look like?"  Yikes!  I think Lucy is on her way to a lucrative carrer as a photographic journalist...hard hitting stuff like, how long can my mom talk while out to lunch?  Good stuff.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


So did you hear a slight sigh of relief sometime last week, when all Mothers sent their lovely children off to school?  No?  Well I did.  Loud and clear.  The beginning of school is bittersweet, only in that now I have to do homework again, and figure out ratios of things, and answer questions like, "Where can I find a rolly poley bug for science class?"  That last question I thought was a given...because I see rolly poley bugs all the time.  Except, of course, on the actual day that you really need one.

 It was so nice to send Grace and Spence off to the Junior High together.   I must admit it's because now I have an Informant on my side.  Okay, not really an Informant, but Grace is SO much better at telling me what's going on at school/on the bus/at lunch than Spencer.  Now I think I'll finally get some real information.  I love girls for many reasons, but that is by far one of my favorites...they talk, a lot.
And Sophie went off to elementary school by herself, but clearly she doesn't look too upset by the notion.  She LOVES her teacher, and her friends, and her class, and her homework, and her new school clothes.  Right now, life is really good for our Sophie.  Yay.  So glad someone is happy.  Actually, Grace is happy too.  It's only you-know-who who has to complain that he has the WORST math teacher, and the WORST locker, and the WORST lunch on B Day, etc. etc.  What does that boy like about school?  Uhm.  Lunch (on A Day).  The library.  Art class.  And being a Peer Tutor.  Well, that's a start.

But the best part now is that I can actually clean my house.  Wait, did I just write that sentence?  That's the best part?  If that's the best part then I'm pretty pathetic.  But actually, my house has not been truly clean since Summer began, so it will be nice to get things clean and organized, but I must think of something better than that. 

The best part of school back in session?  The quiet.  Now sometimes it's actually quiet around here (aside from the fact that I do have a 4 year-old and a new baby).  I am a fan, of quiet and of school.  God Bless School!!!