All going well over here…. I’d be lying if I said everything was back to 100% as the stress of the past few weeks has taken a toll on us all, but now that we’re more comfortable with Grandad Woolley’s recovery, and are doing what we can to get back to normal.  Unfortunately, this week that meant a lot of creative juggling for us with work projects, timewise, and this coming week will see mum working like crazy in Monaco.  Big thanks to Bridget for babysitting for a couple of hours this week so we could go off to a meeting together. Possibly the first time we’ve been out, sans Liam, in over a year.

As a result of our rather up and down schedule this week, Liam’s had quite a few late nights! We’ll let him get away with it for one more week (since no doubt mum won’t be home until later than usual in the evenings), and then he’ll have to get back to a ‘new normal’ after that.  No more 10:30 pm bedtimes!!!

We were supposed to have a playmate yesterday with Liam’s little buddy Tess, as they just arrived back from Canada a week before, and were over their jet lag.  Unfortunately Tess has started in the town creche (french equivalent to pre-school daycare) and as a result came down with a cold yesterday. Playdate cancelled. Pity. We were already gutted when they broke the news to us that they would be moving to Canada early next year (life in France is too hard), and we’re just dying to see them again!  Will have to wait until next weekend!

So, we asked Liam what he wanted to do instead, since Tess was sick.  He didn’t really care… we suggested several things (beach, park, forest…) and he said ‘OK’ when we suggested going to a village. Which is pretty funny, because he has no idea what a village is.  But since that’s what mum wanted to do, off we went to the valleys behind Menton, up the coast towards the Italian border.

The roads were very windy, and beautiful, cutting through the Maritime Alps, but since Liam was itching to get to the ‘village’ and be done with the car, we stopped in Sospel, one of the first beautiful villages on the route to Turin.  We hadn’t been since well before Liam was even a figment of our imagination — we used to take a train into the mountains there an go for some great day hikes.

Sospel is a lovely little village in the valley, cut through the middle by a river (which is very low in the summer). There is still a medievil stone bridge straddling the river to join both sides of the old town, which was destroyed in WW2, and then rebuilt using the original stones.

We took a bit of a wander along the rivers edge, and through the park. Paragliders were circling the peak of the mountain overlooking Sospel all morning, and from time to time, one of them would drift over the village, circling down to land in an area not too far away.  Liam was entertained! They got so close, he could see the men sitting in the harnesses under the sails. We enjoyed a nice pizza lunch alongside the river, and Liam was terribly well behaved. It was a good day!!

Today we had plans to meet Sarah and JL, and Eric, Lynsey and little Josh up at the Parc Cimiez, not too far from us, for a picnic.  Cimiez park is vast, slightly terraced, and home to hundreds of centuries old olive trees. The park is flanked by a Franciscan Monastery on one side, an ancient roman amphitheatre on another, and on the other, the extraordinarily beautiful villa that is the Matisse National Museum (Matisse is buried at the Monastery).  You couldn’t ask for a more poetic place for a picnic, and now that the summer crowds have died down, it’s even better.

So we spread ourselves out under the shade of  a massive olive tree, and Josh and Liam played for hours (exhausting both of their daddies in the process).  A fine feast was had… but better than that, it was a great afternoon with great people.

So that’s what we’ve been doing.  As far as how Liam is doing… well, the terrible two’s do indeed lurk around, and surface from time to time!!  Liam has developed a bit of a ‘non-sharing’ streak at the moment. We’ve been talking about today’s picnic for the past week, and he all he keeps talking about is all of the things that he ‘won’t share’ with Josh.  “Josh won’t have any chicken. Josh won’t share my ball…”  Until we remind him that Josh was bringing the chocolate cake.  Then Liam is willing to share.

We’ve still been pretty hit and miss with the fruits.  After our 2 successes last week, Liam dug his heels in and refused to eat any fruits, even though it meant he wouldn’t get any after-dinner dessert. In fact, one particularly difficult night, he put the raspberries in his mouth, but refused to eat them. Literally ran around the house for an hour and a half with raspberries in his mouth… and by the time we could pry them out they were grey. And barely resembled a raspberry.  But there has been a success since then, with peaches. So it’s not consistent… but it does happen.

We’ll keep at it.  Either that, or we’ll save a fortune in desserts. (we’ll just have to eat the tub of chocolate mousse in the fridge all by ourselves!!)

Right.  Hope this week passes quickly, and can’t wait until next weekend, for Mumma, Daddy & Liam day.