Tough going

Just to let you know, this is tough. I am struggling. I’m in a new place with two little children and very little sleep, and it’s HARD. Some days I feel like I’m drowning, others that I’m wading. Sometimes I feel like I’m paddling. I never feel like I’m floating along. Sleep deprived in a country where my closest friend lives 3 hours away, a country from which all grandparents moved away within months of our arriving, I’m not lovin’ it. (Quite ironic when I think that the proximity of grandparents was the one argument that swayed me in favor of moving here). And, yes, thank God and lhamdullah we have our health and our two awesome kiddiwinkles. Very grateful for many things. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes want to rip everything to shreds and stick my head in the sand (or the oven) for the next 24 months or so… (sorry about the double negative).

So, anyway. Here are some photos of the last couple of months in which we all look very happy*. Or scary.

Going to cull a Christmas Tree.

Off to cull a Christmas Tree.

Forest babies.

Forest babies.

Rarrgghh!

Rarrgghh!

Job well done.

Job well done.

This is not just one Christmas tree, but 3 small ones, one each for the 3 houses in our Christmas story.

Petite fille sage.

Petite fille sage.

"Don't put me here!"

“Don’t put me here!”

Just chillin' on my sheep.

Just chillin’ on my sheep.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve: eat and talk, eat and talk.

Christmas morning: and the present marathon begins!

Christmas morning: and the present marathon begins!

Grand'maman ready for London

Grand’maman ready for London

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Pure cheese!

More cheese

More cheese

Twas Santa Ralph, came to the Chicken Coop

Twas Santa Ralph, came to the Chicken Coop

Squish-hugs

Squish-hugs

Jolie moumoute!

Jolie moumoute!

Pretty paper

Pretty paper

Ooh, tractor!

Ooh, tractor!

Me eat tractor.

Me eat tractor.

Lovey-dovey

Lovey-dovey

Lobster hands

Lobster hands

Lobster what??

Lobster what??

Lobster WHAT??

Lobster WHAT??

Boxing Day walk.

Boxing Day walk.

Forest scene

Forest scene

We three.

We three.

Popcorn entre cousins.

Popcorn entre cousins.

Sauna y'all.

Sauna y’all.

I said, SAUNA, Y'ALL!

I said, SAUNA, Y’ALL!

Snowscape 1

Snowscape 1

Snowscape 2

Snowscape 2

Snowscape 3

Snowscape 3

Sibling love.

Sibling love.

Family.

Family.

The young King & the Prince

The young King & the Prince

Back home. Daddy dressed me.

Back home. Daddy dressed me.

* Don’t worry, we ARE happy. It’s just hidden behind the bags under our eyes 😉

Make Christmas Cake: check

This is my second time making The Christmas Cake. The last time was when my whole family went to Australia for Christmas, and I stayed in France, working at Hidden Cabin. It was SO MUCH FUN calling up Mom and Dad with business-related questions and for it to already be cocktail o’clock Down Under. I just LOVED being all alone in the freezing cold office while they were having barbecued lobster on the beach in Santa hats. So anyway, I made the cakes, and undercooked them, and brought them to my then-boyfriend’s parents’ home for Christmas. They didn’t really get the awesome concept of whiskey-soaked (underbaked) fruit cake so I ended up eating most of it myself. I did not get salmonella.

This time round I took my time (3 days) and did it right. Hopefully. We’ll find out on Christmas Day.

First step: make applesauce.

First step: make applesauce.

Second step: eat applesauce (and by the way, she totally said "applesauce"!)

Step 2: eat applesauce (and by the way, she totally said “applesauce”!)

Soaking dried fruit in wine.

Soaking dried fruit in wine. Try eating a wine-drenched glacé cherry with a square of dark chocolate. Heaven.

Flour mix.

Flour mix.

How many raisins-in-wine should a toddler be allowed to eat?

How many raisins-in-wine should a toddler be allowed to eat?

Et voilà ! Now the whiskey.

Et voilà ! Now the whiskey.

Now I just have to remember to “feed the cake” every night 🙂