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

November 28, 2012

Hat shopping.



Babies are like dogs. No matter what we do, if there is new stimulus Colette is feet-kicking, hand-waving, head-bobbing, tongue-out eager. Hats: she loves them. Any old thing really. For anyone who is bored in life...a permanent solution: a baby. Look at that smile on Xavier's face.

November 23, 2012

Wonderful Thanksgiving chez John.



Dearest friends feasting together. In John's ambrosial world. And, to my heart's delight, jubilating Mademoiselle Colette. They love her so too.































Meredith even made Colette a video (soon to be featured here) for Thanksgiving. A day of feasting for the eyes, stomach, heart.


She has such a little monkey face watching here.

November 21, 2012


A great Colette video by Xavier (her hair is really something in this).

November 19, 2012

Colette vignette.


Little Colette in the reflection of a New York City doorway peephole.

November 14, 2012

Maleable.






She transforms. In and out of looking like herself and someone else completely. So many versions of Colette the great. The magnificent. The wonderful.

November 13, 2012

Être gentil.

FRANÇOIS HOLLANDE, UN HOMME POLITIQUE TRÈS GENTIL ("François Hollande, a very nice politician") - the title of an article in French publication Grazia today. Oh how I loved this article. It describes perfectly a distinctly French phenomenon: how calling some "nice" is actually an insult. (Like the time when we visited Xavier's grandmother in Lyon for the first time and she whispered to him about me as we were leaving, "She may be a bit too nice..." with a warning tone. Or the many times I have listened to a French person employ the adjective "nice" with a disparaging tone). So poor Hollande. He has been typified as being "very nice": the subtitle of this article is "Nice. That is how this politician is perceived. Not sure that this pleases him."

Particularly amusing was the section of the article called: "Is it nice to call someone nice?" They go on - 'In politics [and, I would argue, in general in France] nice means inoffensive - innocuous. Without respect.' A president should be someone who commands respect and should be known for his authority and not his 'niceness.' Their recommendation for François Hollande's goals for 2013: Be less nice.

The article (those fickle French) congratulates Nicolas Sarkozy for never being susceptible to being labeled 'nice.'

November 11, 2012

Huckleberry friends.



Two of my dearest friends got married this weekend:Meredith and Jordan. Last night they had a party (at a superb pizza place in Brooklyn - must go: Roberta's) in celebration.

Stephen and I gave a toast at the event and in writing it (writing a toast is a tricky thing because you want the toast to be about the couple, not you, but everything is relational, so getting the balance is hard) I realized just how loyal and devoted these friends are. We've known Meredith 10 years and our relationship has traversed so much ground - from Brigham Young as undergraduates to living together (with Stephen) in Hell's Kitchen in a tiny apartment that included mice, bunk beds and Alice-in-Wonderland slanted floors. Meredith is exceptional - she is doing a post-doc in film at Brown at the moment and is (everyone was in complete concurrence last night) the funniest person we all know. In our toast, Stephen cited the example of a game we like to play at Whole Foods at Columbus Circle: sitting in a position to gaze up at the people descending on the elevators - assessing them all and christening them. Meredith always did it best: beautiful Japanese woman was a short phrase from Meredith: "Broke up the Beatles." Her humor is always leaps and bounds ahead of everyone.

Jordan and Meredith are perfect rapport. Jordan is calm and peaceful - confident. Her self-assuredness has made is so easy to love her and become close over the past 5 years. Jordan has a really special place in my heart because when Colette was born I was so raw - so raw that when friends visited it often felt like their words left dents in my skin. But not Jordan (and not Meredith). Jordan's peace flows with her. Her and Meredith's relationship with Colette and with Marguerite has been so gratifying and generous. Last night's celebration was such affirmation of these two - their many deep friendships and their own relationship.



Colette was the only baby in attendance. She was pretty sweet, yelling out in her low, guttural tones at all the right moments (where did she get that voice?!). Good thing those girls love her.




I love how Colette's expression in this photo is, "who is this lady?"

November 9, 2012

Chinese.



Marguerite was doodling the other night. Doodling in Chinese, or so she said. She said they were learning a bit of Chinese at school. So cute - I giggled to myself as I made various requests and she "knew" the symbols for all of them, including the sun, the stars, a swimming pool and Colette. Then she informed me that (in the image above) the top line is cursive English Chinese. The second line is standard French Chinese. We went over to the laptop and I pulled up some Chinese characters for her to replicate. She is pretty good.



Colette just kept doing down-dog headstands on the couch next to us.

November 7, 2012

Blue red.


(The ice rink at Rockefeller Center this morning when I walked by on my way to work)

I have been accused by my friends this election cycle of being a "Romney supporter" (proclaimed with dagger eyes and disgust). This is not true. I was not. First things first. However, I was also not an unwavering Obama supporter.

I will say that I was all for a complex and nuanced conversation about the election. I was also very interested in Mr. Romney giving Mr. Obama a rousing challenge. In fact, I wanted this race to be as close as possible. I am not claiming to be clairvoyant, but I did think that Obama would ultimately pull through. And when I saw those polls that were predicting a close shave, I was reassured. To me, a close race was the very thing that might propel Obama to make movement. Purposeful movement. I am not alone in being dissatisfied with his first term performance. Healthy humility is a great thing to inspire change. Under current circumstances, a president who believes he has a mandate after the election is dicey for everyone.

May I also note that with all the criticism of big money republican donations and the threat of "bought elections" - the winner was clearly not purchased or funded by that crowd of menacing, mega-rich guys...which, like it or not, does say something about money and influence and politics. Even if you have a lot of money, your message - even if propelled far and wide - still has to ultimately convince voters.

I am heartened by ballot results in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington when it comes to gay marriage. Excellent progress for very basic rights. We will look back historically with disgust at how long it took to overturn this type of discrimination.

The fiscal challenges this country faces is another nightmare entirely.

November 5, 2012

Marguerite the artist.


Mademoiselle Marguerite is quite the artist. She has a particular talent for observation and getting choice moments represented diagrammatically. Guesses on what is being characterized above? Hint: me. Doing something for Colette. That's right - me pumping. At first, I was wearing a princess crown and was delighted to be a pumping princess. Then I pointed the crown out and she shook her head and quickly scrubbed it off and replaced it with pigtails and bows. My favorite part is my carefree kicking leg - pumping in style. Colette is down in the corner, conveniently stashed while I'm working away on her future food. Hilarious.

November 4, 2012

Swinging.



Colette went swinging for the first time tonight. It was long overdue. While Marguerite raced around on her bike, Colette was swinging and swinging and protested loudly when it was time to cease. After a whole week of not going to work (wake of the grand hurricane) I am a little glum to head back tomorrow. Had a lot of good soaking baby and big sister in this week. We spent the week reading lots of stories, topped with crazy hair all around.

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