⪧ We left our life in New York City to make a new one in Provence ⪦

May 31, 2012

Dramatics.



It gets intense pretty quickly and then abates just as fast.

May 30, 2012

May 28, 2012

Becoming French.


Colette officially became French today (she is, of course, already American). This is her passport photo. Going to the French Consulate is like stepping off Fifth Avenue into the magic wardrobe that takes you straight to Paris. I guess all consulates are like that - they are literally the territory of their respective country - but down to the accents of the people who work there, the television station (with the Prévisions météorologiques à 9 jours sur toutes les villes de France) and the precise bureaucratic pleasantries Xavier knew to speak - we were in Paris. It is funny to look at little baby Colette and wonder which culture will "take" and which parts of each will "hold." I hope the best parts (and I have some specific ideas on what those are).

May 27, 2012



A box of baseballs arrived by mail (strange for a Frenchman who doesn't play baseball). A tiny Japanese personage sits newly perched on one of our windowsills. Xavier collects - unanticipated objects.


May 26, 2012

5 Years.



Today is the 5-year anniversary of our crazy wedding in Harlem. Now Colette has joined up and things look just tropical with her in the mix. The photo above is nice, but the photo below is more representative of how things really happen.

May 21, 2012

Côtelette.



Truly living up to her nickname. This baby is killing me. In the best way.

May 20, 2012

Campfire.



Campfires up at the cabin in Logan Canyon in Northern Utah make you feel like there is nobody else in the world except those sitting in that circle of dancing golden glint under dangling stars.













May 18, 2012

Cousins.



Colette's cousins: Grace and Joyce. Although their coloring is not the same, Grace and Colette share a certain coiffure. Joyce's hair is tamer; her imagination is not. For at least one year, she was Fern from Charlotte's Web and if you referred to her by her real given name, she would reply with just one word, "Fern." The Fern penchant has warn off, but not her tendency to call her sister Grace "Avery." This week, Joyce, Grace and I were walking, holding hands and Joyce proclaimed, "we are a chain!" I replied, "Yep, a chain of girls." She retorted with a correction, "Well, 2 girls and 1 boy." (Avery is, you know, Fern's brother).

May 15, 2012

Rattlesnakes.



Colette's next stop: Northern Utah. Colette's adventures here include running into a couple of rattlesnakes. On a hike in Logan Canyon - where we climbed to great terraced crests - we stopped suddenly to the sound of distinct rattling. Even if you didn't know rattlesnakes existed, when you hear that sound, you stop in your tracks.



Good thing Colette was already out. She hiked a good portion of the trail like this in my arms.



And otherwise, she enjoyed the wind blowing through her hair secured safely in the arms of her muscular porters.

















The adventure continued when at the end of the 2.5 hour hike, we came to a roaring river, with no bridge. It had recently collapsed and because the trail is a loop, we would have had to go all the way up and around again if we couldn't cross. So, we put the newborn in the sling and her dad carefully made his way across the branch we used as a bridge. Even if she is largely sleeping through them, Colette is already having some serious adventures.



May 14, 2012

Oh, Colette!




Out the door...


...and off to win. Oh, baby.

(I must say that no one actually played any slots - and we should not have let Colette touch anything to pose for the above photo. We left Las Vegas with a distinctly bleak feeling - what a depressing place. We were delighted to get to the airport...that says how much we actually wanted to be there.)

May 9, 2012

Las Vegas?



But why?? We told Colette she could choose anywhere for her first safari. She chose Vegas. What can we say?



She was obsessed with the alleged bed size (hotdog, was she impressed), by the glitz, the glamour, the nightlife. We keep telling her she is only a month and a half, but she won't listen. We keep telling her not to waste her allowance here - that the house always wins, but she keeps running to the slots.



Thinking deep thoughts with Trump's golden tower rising in the background.



We are really only in Vegas because Xavier has a work conference and yes, it is definitely still the worst city on earth. Colette and I love the pool and the sunshine, however (and Colette really does love the view from our 56th floor room - thanks, Donald and Steve). I am embarrassed it is Colette's first destination.

May 7, 2012

On fire.



Picture this. New York. A restaurant. Two friends. One baby. (Insert below baby into story). Friend 1 tells gripping story of a new opportunity for his burgeoning photography career. Friend 2 is enticed. Baby is not (she doesn't know what is what yet). Friend 2 puts baby to her breast, pulling out a blue and white polka-dotted scarf - trying to be politely delicate (some people apparently find breastfeeding offensive). Friend 1 continues to tell his tale. He interrupts himself. "You are on fire," he inserts pretty calmly as he weaves the scarf out from baby/chair/breast/Friend 2. Friend 2 is smoking - literally. Scarf smoldering - almost in flames.

Here I was trying to be discreet and what happens? The scarf hiding the fact that I was breastfeeding ignites from the heat of the light bulbs behind my chair. All eyes on the smoke rising from behind my head and with the scarf yanked away...well, in the end, I hope it was a public campaign for the beauty of breastfeeding because discretion was out. The people at the restaurant didn't charge us for our meal and brought us plates of desserts. Baby let out just a few squawks, but remained very composed considering the danger she was in.

May 6, 2012

May 5, 2012

Sweet cheeks.



(Yep, her hair just does that. Attempts to tame it are all in vain).

May 4, 2012

Lullaby.



Xavier's lullabies are somewhat untraditional, bordering on renegade. He is featured above using a kazoo. The amazing thing about each of his techniques is that they seem to work...babies actually like loud music and movement for sleeping. OK - I will admit - the below Thriller moves could be called into question. Still, all of our ideas about tiptoeing around have gone out the window (our pediatrician confirmed that the womb was a very noisy place indeed, so beats like these sound like home to Colette). Michael Jackson is only one variation, if you can imagine the rest.

May 3, 2012

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