Fleur de la Vie

October 22, 2009 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos, Videos 72 views

Sweat Suit Photo ShootThis sweatsuit is very representative of the state of Nora’s wardrobe. Her warmer clothes that claim to be for a six or nine month old are all too small, leaving her ankles out in the cold.

I only wanted one good picture of her in this outfit, so, as usual, I snapped about a dozen, hoping to pick out one good one, but there turned out to be nine good ones that I couldn’t bring myself to discard, so rather than one photo, I present you with a slideshow. They are all available on Flickr in their full-res glory.
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Bundle Up

October 21, 2009 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos 67 views

Hooded NoraThe weather in just the past week has turned decidedly autumnal. Out came the storage boxes full of sweaters, and the sweaters got replaced with summer clothes. Ah, season change.

It won’t come as a surprise to any of her fans, but it turns out that Nora is absolutely adorable in her warm clothes too! She’s really been enjoying her winter coat that her mother bought her a few months before she was born during the post-winter sales what seems like an eternity ago.
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Nora News Bulletin – October 2009

October 21, 2009 By: erik Category: News, Offspring 103 views

My mother asked me some questions about Nora via email, and I suspect that many of you may be wondering the same, so I’ll answer them here.
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Shaky Sunrise

October 20, 2009 By: erik Category: Colindres, Damn, Nature!, Photography, Photos, Timelapse 40 views

thumbLots of walking on Sunday exhausted me, so I went to bed very early. When the 7:00 Monday morning baby feeding time arrived, I was ready to get up and start my week early. I could see just a hint of light in the east, and something about the clouds told me that it was going to be a lovely sunrise.

My intervalometer, the gadget that attaches to my camera to tell it to take a photo every five seconds, broke about six months ago. It just stopped working consistently. The new one that I ordered came in a few weeks ago, so I’ve been itching to try it out.
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French Food – Bordeaux

October 20, 2009 By: erik Category: Food, France, Photos, Travel 2,080 views

Berry Close-upI intentionally left out details about the food we ate in my posts about our trip to Bordeaux a week ago mainly so that I could combine the photos into this one mouth-watering post.

The truth is that we ate way more than we usually do and came back feeling bloated. In the week since we’ve been back, we’ve been nearly fasting, and feeling much better.
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The future's so bright…

October 19, 2009 By: erik Category: Funny, News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos 195 views

The first thing Spaniards notice about Nora is the color of her eyes, as only a very small percentage of the Spanish population has blue eyes. Unfortunately, this means she is also very sensitive to direct sunlight.1 When we go outside and sunlight hits her face, she squirms and cries. I feel her pain. A larger-than-I’d-like-to-think-about percentage of my childhood group photos with classes and sports teams features my scrunched up squinting face.

We consulted the doctor on when it’s appropriate to buy a kid some sunglasses. She told us that six months was awfully young, but that if you wait until ten months, it’ll be hard to keep them on. Meaning that when a kid is older, they are more aware of how they are used to being outdoors and will dislike the change, but if you sneak them in early and they get accustomed to wearing them, then it’s easier later on. So the other day I bought Nora some sunglasses…and I must say, when we put them on her, she’s one cool cat.
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The Wine Industry Is Mostly Bullshit

October 19, 2009 By: erik Category: Complaining, France, Wine 3,249 views

One thing I learned on my trip to the Bordeaux wine-making region of France is that the vast, vast, vast majority of things said about wine are complete bullshit. The upper end of the wine industry is almost entirely about marketing and branding, and has very little to do with the product. In a blind taste test, I bet that 97% of wine drinking adults can tell the difference between a 1€ bottle of wine and a 15€ bottle of wine. But once you get up to a 15€ bottle of wine (the threshold price might actually be closer to 7€), I bet less than 1% of wine drinking adults can tell the difference between that 15€ bottle and a 50€ or 100€ or 1000€ bottle of wine. There’s just not that much difference!
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A Tooth for Grandma

October 16, 2009 By: erik Category: Family, News, Offspring, Photos 128 views

Happy NoraNora has been toiling long and hard, day and night, to make a present for her grandmother’s birthday today. There was pain. There was sweat. There were tears. And in the end, out popped her second tooth, which she wants to show her American grandmother today.

She’s proud, but a little shy about it.
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St. Jean de Luz Birthday

October 16, 2009 By: erik Category: Beach, France, Photos, Travel 376 views

St. Jean de Luz HarborOn the way back from Bordeaux, we spent Monday, my thirty-first birthday, in St. Jean de Luz, in southern France. In fact, St. Jean de Luz is part of the French Basque Country. It was strange for us, regular visitors to the Spanish Basque Country, to see the Basque flag and hear French being spoken. The truth is, however, we heard very little French spoken. Since October 12th is Spain’s National Day, the entire town was crawling with Spaniards on holiday. St. Jean de Luz’s primary attraction is its semi-circular beach. Originally a fishing villiage, it became a popular destination for wealthy Brits in the nineteenth century and now has a thriving tourism industry.

The day was a considerable letdown for us. Not only was the weather a little drizzly, but we had just been to the beautiful medieval Saint Émilion the day before, and St. Jean de Luz was quite lackluster in comparison. Also, we live in a fishing village right next to a beach a hundred times better than that of St. Jean de Luz, so why would we want to spend a day in a similar town filled with Spaniards when we could be at home doing the same thing? We had lunch, went to the tourism office, realized there weren’t any sights we wanted to see, and headed home.
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Saint Émilion – Part 2 of 2

October 15, 2009 By: erik Category: France, Photos, Travel, Wine 609 views

Vineyard RoseAfter a lovely morning with a guided tour and a delicious lunch, it was time to go to Clos La Madeleine for a tour and a wine tasting. Unfortunately, our morning tour ended at 12:45 and our Clos tour was to begin at 14:30. By 14:30, we were still in the restaurant, 20 minutes from the Clos La Madeleine, just finishing our main course, still with a cheese platter, dessert and coffee to follow! The Mediterranean half of our marriage convinced the Scandinavian half to, “Just relax, and we’ll get there when we get there.” This turned out to be an excellent strategy, since we enjoyed the twenty minute walk much more than the tour and tasting itself.
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