Monday, October 22, 2007


Yes, there is such a thing and one of these days I will actually remember my camera and take a picture of it - the poopcycle. Acutally, there are two different types of vehicles that I have seen here that scoop the poop. Mon petit fee accurately described one the other day, "mommy, that's the poop motorcycle." It is a motorcycle that on the back of it has a tank with a hose attached so the rider can just vaccuum the poop into the tank and then ride off to the next dump. And the other one is a golf cart with the same contraption. I haven't seen these in the center of Paris (I am just outside Paris), maybe because they just pay the street cleaners for this, or maybe because it is a little more expensive for this. Not sure. But hey, I don't clean up after the tooter anymore as long as she goes where she is supposed to go - in the gutter, on the grass at the theater, or on a tree, you know, the designated dog poop places. No one else cleans up here, so after four years of shoving a bag under the tooter's butt to collect the remains of her dinner, I turn my head and walk away. Still grosses me out though, but hey, when in Rome... (next week, baby, and I can't wait!!!!!!)

And today is much, much better. A very large dose of music always does the trick.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

mommy's woes

Balance = Happiness

How does one achieve these two things? Ignorance is bliss? So I just think too much, is that it? Because I certainly am no genius that's for sure. Last year I quit my part-time job because I felt so guilty for leaving mon petit fee to go to work. It didn't feel right and I have learned time and time again to trust my instincts. So there you go. And now I feel like I have given up so much of myself that I have forgotten who I am. Just now, I had had it so I took a break (thank goodness I was able!) and left the apartment (mon petit fee in the care of the porcellino) to come to a cafe just across the street and sit for thirty minutes all by myself. That is bliss, something I need to do more than once every few weeks or longer.

Ever hear of a babysitter? Yes, but I don't want to hire just anyone, definitely not a total stranger, and well, you get what you pay for, so that is something that I would not be frugal on. I don't want to be a slave either, but it seems like being "mommy" means the same thing. Well at least I can vote and get out of the apartment daily. Ok, and I can also make play dates and grow my own sprouts and pick which cd's I'd like to listen to, too.

So maybe that was a bad analogy, especially now that I am here enjoying a lovely cup of espresso it seems like such an exaggeration. But often I feel like all I do is clean vomit, poopoo, peepee, dirt, dishes, cloths, noses and nurture til I bleed. And I only have one child! Good lord. But it's just because I am so isolated here in gay land. So I feel so guilty for feeling this way when I should just be so entirely grateful for all that I have. I am American. That alone means that I am privileged. And then we live in such a beautiful city with loads of culture, abundance of healthy food readily available, it's very safe, I can walk everywhere, and yet I often still struggle for happiness. Woe is me. I should stop complaining and start counting my blessings as there are so many. Is that it? Is it all about what you choose to focus on?

When I was a little girl (because that's what it always comes back to) and the clock struck 11:11 or I blew out birthday candles, or threw a dime into a fountain, there was one wish I wished over and over: to be happy. Yes, my step-father was an ass and my parents, who still hate each other today, divorced when I was four or something. So I know those two things had a profound impact on my ego, but I'm an adult now so I should be able to think how I want to, right? I wish I could do what my mom so lovingly told me and just, "Get over it." The problem is, I feel like I am flying solo so much of the time that any energy I have rushes out of the balloon that was not tied. And because I have to work a little at being happy, it is not always possible simply because the energy is being used to blow out a bunch of hot air. Bad analogy? Hey, I'm tired. Get over it. There must be a song about that somewhere. Get over it, I'm over it, yada yada yada. And actually, that is about the only thing that keeps me going. I need to drench myself in music. THAT is what is missing.

Ok, I can't sit at this cafe any longer. There's actually a beautiful blue sky and no rain, but it's something like 50 degrees F, so a bit chilly. The little heater seems to be heating only the air just above my head. Though on the brighter side, this is one thing I love about this land. They put heaters outside at the cafes so if you want to sit outside, you will not freeze your buns off. Though I wouldn't mind a bit of that really, as my buns could use a little shrinkage. And on that lovely note, a tout a l'heure...

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Over time
I've been building my castle of love
Just for two
Though you never knew you
were my reason...

Listened to this song (Overjoyed by Stevie Wonder) over and over for almost two hours yesterday. This is my favorite all time song. Has to be.

I didn't go to the doctor againi on Monday though I had intended to - again! I took the metro to Sevres Babylone and called as soon as I got off to tell the receptionist that I would be about ten minutes late. She then informed me that I needn't bother coming as the doctor was not even there. Apparently, he was attending a birth. So I was supposed to call back the next day to reschedule, but guess what, I haven't done that yet. How did I get out of that again? Dread.

So I didn't want to turn around and go back home seeing as we were about a 20 minute metro ride away and it was a nice day (it wasn't raining nor was it freezing). I was one minute from the Bon Marche so decided to give it a try for any Halloween goodies. Nada! Zut. Instead mon petit fee and I took a stroll to a cute little playground pretty close to les Invalides and then over to La Motte Picquet for a quick metro ride back.

Another angry bus driver episode and it's only October. Granted the teens were raucous, loud, and did not ask properly to be let off the bus. They called her "monsieur" not realizing a woman was driving the bus - most are male. The last straw for her was when they neglected to say a simple "merci" when they descended from the bus. The driver got off and yelled at them as they walked down the street warning them that they would not be allowed back on her bus the next day. I am so bored with this. It's not even amusing anymore.

Picked up my cello and actually played today. I have only done that a handful of times since mon petit fee was born and boy did it feel sooooooo good. To use my brain, my soul, my muscles for this kind of expression was quenching and yet made me so thirsty. It's so complicated this mothering thing. I don't regret it for a minute, but I just have to find a way to keep nourishing myself as well.

Friday, October 12, 2007


It has been over a week now and still people are reaching out to me. I love being an expat. I have learned to make friends fast and can talk to just about anyone now. It's amazing to realize just how much all of us have in common. Wouldn't you say the basic human needs are to be loved, wanted, needed? I think this is pretty accurate. We all just have different degrees of those needs and go about different ways of getting it.

But this week is so much better on many levels. To think that last Friday I was desperate to move out of our apartment and now am content to stay a few more years even if need be. I was convinced that the pesticide spray in the cave was the cause of my miscarriage, and because the smell still seeped into our apartment, I was so worried about the health of mon petit fee. So the day after the miscarriage I went on and started looking at apartments. I called a few places and got an appointment to view one the next day. They go really fast here, so if you find something, you've got to grab it.

It was so frustrating once again living here with the "that's just the way it is" attitude. I told my landlord that our apartment had pesticide smell still, and she just shrugged her shoulders. She was apologetic about it, but could do nothing. So if she felt helpless, what could I do? I don't know that I even had any options. You have to give three months notice if you plan on moving unless it is an international move, then it is just one month. After the spray, we did about all we could do to avoid the smell. We got out of the apartment as much as possible, kept the windows open, and kept opening the cave door. Though someone kept closing it the first few days, everyone started leaving the cave door open probably because word spread that we were still getting the odor in our apartment. And now I don't even open the door anymore. Someone else does! My neighbors really are very nice. Some even speak a little English to me every now and then.

So we'll stay in the apartment. The smell is gone now and I am happy again. Though we did reach a very important decision. We want to move back to the US at some point. Maybe not next year or the year after, but within the next few years. I love living overseas, but there are so many things I miss about the US. The ease of life, customer service, speaking English, but probably the main thing is the American philosophy that anything is possible. You can dream in America and have your dreams come true. I love it. I want my child(ren) to grow up believing that they can do anything they love to do. I want them to experience Halloween, Thanksgiving, the Easter Bunny, all those wonderful things about America (except leave out the sugar and the fast food!!!!!) I've never been after a big house or a lot of money. Just some friends, good neighbors, a safe place for my children to grow up, and a place to call home (with a little garden of course!). OK and maybe a little adventure now and then. That's the spice of life!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

rdv with doc

It's only been a week so I suppose I should give myself a break. Her due date was the same as my birthday, April 27, so it will be interesting how I feel when April rolls around. I still tear when I see a newborn or a pregnant lady though that is to be expected I suppose. I had an obgyn RDV on Tuesday that I sort of skipped. The only reason I made the RDV was to see if everything was ok with the false couche. But I say "sort of" because I did go to the RDV and waited for thirty minutes all the time dreading what was to come. But when the doctor came out to ask for the next patient and it wasn't me, I lost my gumption and left. Mon petit fee was jumping up and down while we were waiting and I didn't think it would get much better while I was talking/listening to this doctor who spoke no English. There would be no way I could concentrate on anything other than where mon petit fee's hands and feet were. I don't know where he got all that energy from all of a sudden either. It was kind of like he was trying really hard to give me an out. (Afterwards we sat at a cafe together and talked - well he ate a piece of chocolate while I drank my cafe, but he sat STILL!) And ok, to be honest, I just wasn't ready to hear what I knew already - that I'd lost the baby.

I have another RDV next week anyway, with the doctor that was going to follow my pregnancy. I made that appointment about three weeks ago when I was pregnant. Though I prefer a female doc, he is one of the very few doctors in Paris who has ever seen a natural birth and is actually supportive of it! Can you believe that?!?!?!?!?!? Everyone here gets medicated, something like 95%. When I told the doctor I went to when I was pregnant with mon petit fee that I wanted a natural birth, he basically laughed in my face. When I asked him if I could choose my position to labor and deliver in (basically NOT lying on my back) he very sincerely said, "no, how can I see?" Don't even get me started on that, but well, sorry, too late. If you've ever seen a diagram of a woman's pelvis lying down versus squatting, it is obvious that to lie on your back you are working against gravity. Not sure? Not quite the equivalent, but to give you a good idea of what that would be like, try taking a poo lying on your back with your knees pulled to your chest! And then imagine the size of a baby versus lovely poo and I don't have to elaborate about the necessity of gravity. His arrogance made the decision for me and we took the route of a homebirth because I didn't want some egotistical French man with his hands all in me tugging and pulling to get my baby out when I was made to push it out myself!

ANYWAY, so now I just have to get totally naked and put my feet in stirrups for ONE person instead of two this month. Yep, NO GOWNS HERE!!! Talk about vulnerable. Geez. As if I'm not vulnerable enough right now. Yes, there are great things about the French medical profession, but a lot of things that I do not like either. Birth plan? No such thing. I was laughed at for that question, too, but by a different doctor, one of the best in Paris actually.

So I will go to this new doctor next week even though he is a man who will see just about every inch of me all in one sitting. But I will be ok with that because I trust him. He goes against the grain (which is HUGE as everyone does everything the same way) by respecting natural childbirth and by respecting the wishes of the woman. At least so I'm told. It will be my first visit with him.

Wow, that was a bit more passionate than I had intended, but hey, I can't always control myself. Though I don't think that's such a bad thing and sometimes wish I controlled myself just a bit less. Just let yourself go...

THE computer place in Paris

We have had numerous computer issues while living here so we've had to find a place to take our computer to. But because we moved last year about an hour from where we lived before, I thought I'd try to find a place closer to here. There is a great place close to our apartment and I figured I'd give them a shot. The motherboard in our Sony Vaio was shot and needed to be replaced. I took it in and they told me that it was not possible for them to fix. I would have to call SONY and get them to fix it. Not only that, it would cost a minimum of 700 euros though would definitely be more.

So I decided to take it back to our place in the 18eme arrondisement of Paris, where we used to live. It is two metro rides away, about 25 stops or something like that. It is a Japanese run place so they are very efficient, fast, reliable, and extremely good at what they do. It took them a week to get to it, but then they fixed it in a day. The cost - 195 euros!!!!! So for anyone living in Paris, THE place to go to get any computer issue repaired is called: LITEC in the 18th off of rue Marcadet by metro Lamark (line 10) or Guy Moquet (line 13).

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


I learned a translation of a new word last week Thursday: faux couche. Not exactly something that I had thought I would learn about, but that was out of my control. Wednesday I started bleeding and cramping. Seeing that I was ten and a half weeks pregnant, I knew that the two together was a bad sign. A few times I would finally fall asleep, but would wake soon after as I knew something wasn't right. Until the dream. I had just woken up again and couldn't go back to sleep so I just prayed so desperately for someone to watch over my baby. Minutes later if that, a beautiful angel came and cradled my little girl in her arms. She was so happy to see my sweet little girl and couldn't stop smiling and cooing at her. It was easy to see that this angel had so much love for my little baby and would take care of her. This gave me so much comfort and peace knowing that there was someone watching over my little pea. I thought that everything would be ok and slept like a baby.

It was slow moving in the morning as it often is. Finally took out the tooter at 10:30 and went for a little walk. I still wasn't feeling well. After lunch I couldn't stay awake so I laid down with mon petit fee for a nap. When we awoke, I went to the bathroom and saw the first signs of the false couche, a clot of blood the diameter of a walnut. Even though I had a feeling it was coming, nothing could have prepared me for the amount of grief I had at that moment. I wailed. Mon petit fee stood there, watching me with such concern you would have never known he was two and said to me, "What's the matter, mommy? It's ok."

I cleaned up and sat on the sofa sobbing and sobbing and sobbing. There is nothing like loosing a child, even an unborn one. As I sat on the sofa unable to control my emotions, mon petit fee climbed up, sat down next to me and snuggled with me. He held my hand and gave me a big hug and kiss completely unprompted by me. The compassion and strength coming from my two year old at that moment will I never ever forget.

Realizing that I couldn't sit there forever, we went for a walk. I started to feel better and thought of all the things I could now eat - oysters, sushi, any cheese, basically not worry about the non-pasturized stuff, undercooked meat, and all that. It was so liberating. And yet as I passed by the seafood market, I just could not look at the oysters or I would start sobbing again. My beautiful little girl was gone. Who cares about the damn oysters?

We came home and I expelled more clots. I called my very dear friend who helped me when mon petit fee was born. She had been through three herself and was such comfort to me. When I called the porcellino at work I couldn't even talk. I felt somehow I had let him down, though he never ever made me feel that way. I emailed a few friends and the response I got from everyone was so amazing. All of these people gave me so much strength.

At 10:45 pm, the last piece made its way out. This was the biggest and had a kind of beauty about it. I think it was her. I didn't know what to do with this piece, so I just sat there, holding it on the pad wondering what it really was. In the end I just flushed it down the toilet. I wish I hadn't been so naive and kept it so I could bury her.

It has only been a few days, but I will never be the same. There are certain things in life that take your soul and massage it. Sometimes the massage hurts if it's deep enough, but because of the depth, it releases toxins so you feel so much better afterwards. Last year was a very difficult year. We've been trying hard not to live beyond our means, while still enjoying the things we like to do. It was a big adjustment after I quit my part-time job to stay home with mon petit fee full time. And hormonally things were not right either. But now I feel that this false couche was a way to cleanse my body and help me open up more as I so desperately want to do. So many people who don't even know me that well have given me enormous comfort and support. It seems that all I needed to do was to find the right people who truly truly care. These people, my friends, are like water. They wash away the dirt in your wounds and quench your thirst. So thank you and much love to you my angels, my friends.