Time is passing so quickly, that I suppose summer will be over before we know it. But we’re having a grand time!!

Last weekend was fairly relaxed. A day out at the beach, and a day pottering around town running some errands. Most importantly, we made a trip to Petit Bateau (an iconic french kids clothes brand) to allow Liam to choose some new underpants, as we’re really ‘potty training ready’!!

This past week has been a crucial week in Liam’s potty training. Sure, there have been some accidents, but he’s been wearing his underpants all day long (except for when sleeping), and has just started to be able to give us a few seconds head start when he needs to go pee!!  And he’s not had any use for his potty… he’s gone straight for the grown up toilet (hence the ‘toilet duck’ from our last photo post!!)  So, we’re going through a lot of jelly beans this week at the Ferguson house!!

The postman had another busy week (courtesy of mum!), and Liam’s new calendar arrived. Now every morning we change the date and the day, the weather forecast, temperature, etc.  He’s cottoning on really quick and understands that the Saturday and Sunday, which are orange, are the weekends when mumma doesn’t work.  Clever kid. We had to get Liam a new pool, as the old one finally sprung a leak, and he’s happy with it!   In fact, it was the promise of blowing up his new pool that got him to finally concentrate on his first pee in the toilet!  So… thanks Nemo!

This weekend has been spectacular.  Friends from back in Canada were vacationing the south of France, and we made the time to see them before they headed back home.  Lulu (an old colleague of Deb’s), and her husband David, and two kids, Max (10) and Siena (5) rented a gorgeous 5-bedroom house near Aix-en-Provence, which is about 2 hours drive west of Nice. (Well, in normal conditions it’s a 2 hour drive, but it took us almost 4 hours to get there!!)

We arrived early afternoon on Saturday, and the kids all lunched together (there were other friends visiting, who had two girls of their own).  Liam was a bit out of sorts… tired from the long drive, and then suddenly sat at a table with 4 french speaking kids he’s never met!  But being the youngest at the table, the older kids took him under their wing and it wasn’t long before he happily followed their lead! And Max and Siena are totally bilingual, and able to talk to Liam in english too, which helps!

After the kids lunch, we all headed up to the pool, where the kids happily played for hours, and the adults ate a delicious lunch and drank some fantastic wine, relaxing on the loungers.  Couldn’t ask for a better afternoon!

Lulu and David’s friends headed back to their place late afternoon, leaving us to all have a proper catch up. The last time we saw them was three and a half years ago, when Liam wasn’t even a glimmer in our eyes.  How things have changed!!  Siena took a real shining to Liam, and was being a great ‘big sister’ figure to him.  While we sat around the pool catching up, we watched them playing together up in the deck area above us.  Two little blond heads playing with Siena’s doll set (and Sienna brushing Liam’s hair and putting little hair clips in…. her own real live doll!)  Apparently she’s trying to convince Lulu and David that they need another baby so she can be a big sister for real!

By evening Liam was most certainly out of sorts. It was an exhausting day as is, but since he also missed his nap, he was beyond tired by 10 pm and put to bed (all the while crying that he wanted to go home, he wanted to go home). And since he was out of his routine, and his home environment, all gains we made in potty training went out the window for the weekend!  Ah well, it was still worth it.

This morning was relaxing.  Lulu and the family all slept in, but we were up and out in the garden early, looking for snails and hanging out in the hammock, waiting for everyone else to rise.  A great, late brunch, and then it was time to say goodbye until next year.

They headed south to visit friends in Cassis (Lulu is french, which is why they know so many people over here!), and we headed into Aix-en-Provence, which we’ve always heard is lovely, but had never really taken the time to see.

Well. It was okay.  Lovely tree lined main avenue with wide pedestrian areas, dotted with cafes and restaurants, and beautiful fountains.  Apparently an old haunt of Cezanne and other famous painters and poets from that area. But the charm of Aix was lost on us… we’ve been to so many more remarkable places down here.  But Liam enjoyed a bit of a tour on his scooter, an ice cream, and a musical interlude from a street band. And we can finally say that we’ve seen Aix.

The ride home was uneventful, fairly quick, and we arrived home in time for dinner, a bit of a play, and then bed. Liam was a very tired little dude, and was dissolving into tears over nothing fairly quickly.  He’ll be right as rain tomorrow.  But he did have a GREAT weekend.