Sunday, May 31, 2015

Hike to Peillon and Peille

Five years ago, we hiked up to the perched village of Peillon with Zari (3.5) and Dio (1). It's less than 20 kilometers outside of Nice.

A week ago Saturday, we did the same hike and then tacked on a visit to Peille. Peille is a larger village built along a steep mountainside about 10 kms higher up from Peillon. One advantage of having a car!

Here are some now-and-then pictures from Peillon

Little Zari and Dio playing in a water spigot 5 years ago...

...and now all 4 kids playing in the same spigot

Little Zari playing in the fountain...

... and now Inga (4) playing in the fountain

Inga wanted to go in the fountain to fish out coins, but I wouldn't let her
Zari was our photographer, which is why she is in very few of the pictures!

the hike is short but steep
eating dark chocolate on the way up
pointing out landmarks to Dio

Ivy recovering from a tantrum
getting a hug from Eric
village map
Ivy being silly
trying to climb into the fountain...always following Inga's lead!


We arrived during a marriage and got to see the wedding party waiting for the couple to come out of the town hall. I really loved this village. It's picturesque like Peillon, but people actually live here so it doesn't feel completely empty like Peillon does. It looks over a vast valley and mountainside and feels like you're up in the Rocky Mountains, rather than 22 kilometers from the coast. You can see all the way to the sea.

We enjoyed the little tunnels and archways and squares.

We stopped to pet a stray cat

We found a little playground and stayed until it started raining

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Boobquake averted

Almost two years ago I did a series of nursing portraits with Ivy (some of which are featured on La Leche League of Indiana's website).

Yesterday I received a notice from Facebook that someone had reported this photo for nudity:

The photo would undergo a review to see if it conformed with FB's Community Standards. The relevant part of the "Nudity" section reads:

We also restrict some images of female breasts if they include the nipple, but we always allow photos of women actively engaged in breastfeeding or showing breasts with post-mastectomy scarring.

Would Facebook pass or fail this photo? In other words, is a baby taking a momentary break still "actively engaged in breastfeeding"?

I'd say yes. Emphatically. Let's be real, nursing babies of a certain age *will* pop off to check out what's going on!

The response came several hours later:

Your photo was reported for violating Facebook's Community Standards on nudity. Since it doesn't violate this community standard, it was not removed.

Thank you Facebook for recognizing that breastfeeding can include distracted nursing babies!

On the other hand, boo to whoever reported this photo. Who has the time to go around reporting perfectly lovely breastfeeding photos?

Ivy's commentary as I was typing this post:

Me.  Baby Ivy. My nursing mama. Nursing Rixa!

Then she decided she needed a little nursing break.
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Monday, May 25, 2015

I'm selling my cloth diapers...anyone interested?

Ivy has been in underwear for 2 months and I am ready to sell my largest (size M) cloth diapers.

(When I get home from France, I will sell my NB & S if you're dying to have some of those adorable Canadian diapers, you can still get your hands on some!)


Before I list them on, are there any takers in the Alpes-Maritimes region of France?

Except for one name-brand diapers, these are all handmade Chloe Toes pocket diapers with FOE & snaps. The inside layer is a stay-dry wicking fleece. These will fit babies starting around 4-6 months until they are potty trained.

Disclaimer: I've used these on all four children, so the elastic isn't as tight as it used to be when I first made them 8 years ago. Most of the diapers are in decent-to-good shape, with 2 or 3 showing some wear/rips around the snaps.

The soakers are a combination of hemp fleece, microfiber, cotton, and other absorbent fabrics. Some soakers are commercially made, although I sewed most of them myself. Some fold into 2-3 layers, others are already sewn together into layers. Again, these have been used for 8 years straight so they are starting to show wear. However, they are still functional.

Here are the specifics of the 14 diapers for sale:
  • 1 white Canada diaper with red FOE
  • 3 red Canada diapers with white FOE (well, over 4 kids the white elastic has grayed somewhat...)
  • 3 green w/ white polka dots, white FOE
  • 1 purple w/ white FOE
  • 1 blue/green w/ white FOE
  • 2 carnival print w/ black FOE (one is starting to rip near the snaps)
  • 2 sun/moon print w/ black FOE
  • 1 yellow Fuzzibunz size small
  • 2 small zippered wetbags
Price: ??? 

Make me a reasonable offer and they are yours! I'm also open to bartering/trades.

All but 2 of the diapers come with soakers (1 full and 1 small soaker in each, which I found to be the best combination).

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

A week in Burgundy

During the second week of school holidays, we traveled to Burgundy. I already wrote about our drive up on the day we came home from Corsica.

We switched gears from  hard-core hiking and exploring and took this next week at a slow, leisurely pace. Some days we just stayed at home, played games, read books, and rode bikes around the village.

We loved staying in the old stone farmhouse...the kids kept discovering more toys squirreled away in one of the barns. We found bikes for the whole family and shelves full of books and toys and games. Plus it was our first time having a yard again since we left the States. By yard, I should specify that the outdoor area was comprised of gravel and gardens around the perimeter. No grass, but still lots of fun!

I was hoping to visit a snail farm, since Burgundy is the major snail-producing region in France--but they open later in the season.

Here are highlights from our week in Burgundy:

Hike to the Roche de Solutré

This large rock juts up out of the rolling hills of southern Burgundy. One one side is a sheer cliff, at the bottom of which were discovered 100,000 horse skeletons.


Chateau de Pierreclos

The oldest parts of the Chateau de Pierreclos were open for tours...

We got to try on real medieval armor and weaponry.

 Lesson learned: don't mess with Zari. She is a fierce warrior.

Chateau de Cormatin

Our kids made it through the 1-hour guided tour of the Chateau de Cormatin (in French of course!)

They were very ready to go outside and explore the grounds...

We saw several cranes (?). One was eyeing the visitors.

Another pair was on one of the chimneys at the very top of the chateau

They liked the topiaries shaped like animals...

...and the turtle fountain

Eric played tag with the kids inside a hedge maze. This is the view from the tower in the center.

I geeked out over the kitchen gardens

A fun visit

Cinderella Moment

The person who looks after the farmhouse when the owners aren't there stopped by to say hello. He invited us to come swimming at his house, since his four kids were home during the school holidays. We said, "sure, why not?" I had a mental image of an above-ground pool in someone's backyard. Instead, we followed him home (basically around the corner and into the next village) and gasped when he pulled inside the gates of a private chateau.

Turns out he's the chateau's caretaker. He lives in the carriage house, which he turned from the original stable/barn into a beautiful home (he's an architect and works from home; caretaking is his side job). The pool was on the other side of the indoor, glass-walled poolhouse, every amenity imaginable. It had a lovely view over a wine-growing valley.

So this is how the 1% live, I thought.

We enjoyed every minute. His children were lovely and wore our kids out. He invited us over again, and we happily took him up on his offer!

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