Happy birthday, Papa!

donna cerca uomo Bitonto After celebrating Alexandre’s birthday, it was very shortly time to celebrate Papa’s birthday. The kids made some wonderful presents and we celebrated with a piece of cake!

donna cerca uomo Ercolano Happy birthday!

coppia cerca donna Parma Luckily they only put one candle on the cake, or we’d have to have the fire crew on hand…

coppia cerca donna Venezia Papa celebrates his birthday with the kids

Happy 4th birthday, Alex!

donna cerca uomo Acerra Time to celebrate Alexandre’s fourth birthday. Nothing like a dozen four-year olds, loaded to the gills with sugar, running around the place like madmen to give Maman and Papa the nice, relaxing Sunday afternoon they deserve after a hard week at work, right?

Actually, credit to the kids. They mostly burned off their energy playing outside, and when the cake came out, they sat around the table quietly, waiting to be served. Papa even remarked at the time that he was astonished how well-behaved this group of kids was. Certainly less rowdy than some of the dinner parties we’ve thrown for grown-ups at our place.

Presents, presents galore. The next few days will require extra vigilance to avoid stepping on one of the million pieces of Lego scattered around the house.

All of Alexandre’s favorite characters were here — PJ Masks and Spiderman on the table

Comic-book themed popcorn

Samsam was the birthday-cake hero this year

The birthday boy tucks into some popcorn

That’s one heck of a candle! Hope you brought your super-powers to blow it out!

This much sugar + this many small children = this won’t end well

14 Juillet

14 Juillet (14 July) is Bastille Day in France, our equivalent of the 4th of July. Old men put on their military uniforms, the fire brigade turns out to orchestrate events, and the whole town throws an enormous barbecue in the town square. Apparently there were more than 200 people this year, which is almost a quarter of the village! The weather was beautiful and we had a great evening with friends and neighbors.

Ready for the celebrations

The whole town turned out

A lego breakthrough

Lego has always played an important role in Papa’s childhood, and we’ve always had them around the house for the kids to play with. Only recently, though, did the kids really start to enjoy playing with them. And then today, a breakthrough: Juliette learned how to follow the instructions and make something out of the book of ideas. A fish!

She was pleased as punch with her creation.

Juliette’s first Lego creation

A visit from Gratiane and Ines

We were treated to a weekend of beautiful, warm, sunny weather and a visit from Juliette’s godmother, Gratiane and her daughter Ines. It was a busy weekend with dance recitals (and a very, very late night for Juliette) and the annual medieval festival in the village. Great to see old friends after so long!

The three stooges

Maman enjoying the summer sunshine

Gratiane came to visit

Playing it up for the camera

Medieval festival

The beginning of summer also marks the arrival of the Medieval Festival in our village, and the kids decided to dress the part this year. It was a fantastic afternoon with displays of horse riding as well as circus acrobats, recreating the ambiance of our village in another time.

A knight and a fairy, heading down the hillside. Alexandre is long gone!

Ready for the medieval festival

Our medieval trio tuck into an afternoon snack of crepes

Ratatouille!

We patted ourselves on the back for our fine parenting, bringing up a daughter that would eat almost anything. Seems we were a little premature in handing out the congratulations, because along came our son who won’t touch anything remotely fruit-or-vegetable. Alexandre’s idea of a well-balanced meal is chicken and potatoes with a nice square of chocolate afterwards.

So imagine my surprise when he asked Papa to make a ratatouille? It goes without saying that I roped in my kitchen assistant to help me prepare it, and Alexandre ate two plates full! Papa’s ratatouille was a hit.

Papa’s kitchen helper

Library day

Every couple of weeks, we head to the library on a Saturday afternoon to pick up new books and DVDs. Juliette was pretty excited with this new addition to the kids’ reading corner.

A pretty comfy cushion