Click here for the week of 03/20/16.
Sun, 03/13/16. Out and about.
It was a nice sunny day, with a high of around 50, so we spent a lot of time out of the house. In the morning we walked to a movie theatre and saw this 60 min collection of short movies for kids, including a hilarious one about pigeons in Versailles and a really great one about octopi in Santorini. After lunch and my quick meeting with Earvin and Jonatan, who was feeling a little sick, we went to the Jardin du Luxembourg with Earvin and met up there with another woman named Eva, whom Jean met in her American Moms in Paris group. Eva was extremely nice and was there with her very cute 4 year old daughter Sophie and her really nice husband Jin who had a remote controlled boat and let Max and Gems play with it. We then had dinner with Earvin at a tapas place next to Cosi, and then a delicious ice cream at Amerino. Max was so excited about his ice cream coming at Amorino, he was jumping up and down. Earvin leaves tomorrow morning so we said our good byes. We're sad to see him go but fortunately we have Millie and Serena to look forward to, as they are visiting in a couple weeks.

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Sat, 03/12/16. Zootopie.

Today Jean took the kids to the movie Zootopie while I napped and recovered from my Disneyland hangover. We also got some errands done like cleaning our house and writing Disney to try to recover Jean's pass. We had an interesting discussion in the evening about what Max and Gemma want to do when they're older. Max was getting frustrated with drawing today and said he's never gonna draw again. He said he wants to be the chef/owner of a restaurant. Gemma said she wants to be a policeman.
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Fri, 03/11/16. Disneyland and dentist.

Last night Jean chipped her tooth just flossing her teeth, so today she went to an American dentist recommended by Karin Braverman. He was great and successfully glued her tooth back together. She then walked all the 5km way back to our apartment. Meanwhile, I went to Disneyland with Max, Gemma, and Earvin. We tried to sneak Earvin in as Jean using Jean's pass, which I thought would be no problem at all based on past experience because they seem to hardly check, but today the woman caught us, took Jean's pass, and would not return it. We had a good time at Disneyland nevertheless, doing 17 rides: Orbitron, Pinocchio 3 times, Dumbo, Teacups, Snow White, Small World, Storyboat, Casey Jr., Pirates of the Caribbean, Ratatouille, Crush's Coaster, Stitch Live, the Tower of Terror, Star Tours, and Earvin did Indiana Jones. A lot of the other rides were closed today. We also saw two parades. The kids were great and loved Earvin, competing over who got to sit next to him and who would get pushed by him in the stroller when we had one. The Tower of Terror was extremely scary and I was screaming the whole time, as with Crush's Coaster. The kids loved both, though after the Tower of Terror Max started crying for about a minute and said it was too scary. I agreed. It was like a mix of a haunted house and free fall. About 20 minutes later, Max said it was his favorite ride of the whole day. The last photo above is a rat Gemma drew yesterday. I have photos from Disneyland too but I'm too tired to load them now.
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Thu, 03/10/16. Day 8 of the residency process.

Today we went to the police station for the 8th day devoted to getting Jean's residency status so she can legally be here in Paris for the year. It's pretty insane. Paris is making Austria's citizenship process seem like a piece of cake. I think the worst so far was our 7th appointment, when the woman there asked that we come back later with paystubs proving that I have been getting paid by UCLA while we're here in France, and several ridiculous things not the list of documents we're supposed to need. One of these was a receipt from Max and Gemma's school lunch program. We got em and brought them today, though after that we completely gave up on getting residency status. Obviously they are just gonna keep asking for more and more stuff until we leave, so our goal today was just to make the next appointment as far in the future as possible and we succeeded beautifully. We actually got a nice, relatively helpful person who said we need two more ridiculous documents, namely a more recent bill from Electricite De France and copies of our plane tickets home. However, she let us make our next appointment 3 months from now, which means we only need one more appointment until we leave here. I think it's kind of hilarious that in the end we will have devoted 9 days to getting this thing that their website makes seem like it should be completely simple to get, and we will still not have gotten it. But maybe it's too American of me to think about "getting" something as a goal. On the other hand, we must be acclimating a little because we were genuinely thrilled at today's result and were celebrating and high fiving afterwards, and today it only took us 2 hours. So we went out to delicious La Theiere for lunch, and then Jean went to Palais de Tokyo for modern art shown above while I went home and napped. After picking the kids up from school, we got their doctor's reports from the school doctor, telling us Max is 24.5kg and 119.3cm and Gems is 20.8kg and 116.8cm. We also got a religieuse, shown above, which Randy has been asking us repeatedly to get a photo of. At night I went to the doctor to have tons of wax removed from my right ear, a little leftover from the Canary Islands swimming. It hurt a little but feels great now.
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Wed, 03/09/16. Earvin and Jonathan.
We have plans to play hookie and go to Disneyland on Fri, and Gems said she had a little sore throat yesterday, so we decided to take it really easy today and kept the kids home. Jean watched them in the morning while I went to a coffeeshop with my former student, Earvin Balderama, who's here for the week, and Jonathan Gonzalez, a student of Jorge Mateu's in Spain, who's here for 2 weeks and wanted to meet with me. Both are really nice and it was fun meeting up with them. On Fri Earvin's gonna go to Disneyland with us. At night Jean went to a "Mom's night out" with her American women in Paris group, where they had an apero from 730 to 845 and then dinner was only starting at 845. One of Max's teeth is starting to get a little loose. He's been obsessed with money lately, and makes these drawings and sells them to Jean and me, but he orders us around and it feels like we have no choice but to buy them for whatever price he names, so now he's accumulated like 20 or 30 Euros, but is starting to pay them back to us now. He orders us around to do chores, like cleaning the mirrors or doing the dishes, and then pays us hansomly in return. Meanwhile Gems is obsessed with asking us for stories from when she and Max were babies.
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Tue, 03/08/16. Accident at Paul.
Today after school we took the kids to the patisserie Paul for a snack on the way to ballet class. As soon as we got there, Max had an accident and peed all over his pants and the floor. It was a little embarrassing, but Jean and I just remarked about how few accidents he's had and kind of just laughed it off, so at least Max didn't freak out, and a very nice worker there cleaned up for us really quickly. Jean ran down the street to Du Pareil Au Meme and bought Max some new underwear, pants, and socks, and it all got resolved pretty quickly. I was joking afterwards that no matter where Jean is in Paris, she always knows exactly where the nearest Du Pareil Au Meme is. 8958. 2/6.


Mon, 03/07/16. Snow in Dauphine.

Above are some more photos from yesterday's ice skating on the Eiffel Tower . Today it snowed as I was on my way to meet with Marc Hoffmann at Dauphine. I'd say we are more than halfway to our paper together, which I think will be a really good one. We complement each other well. He is already thinking of ideas like 10 papers down the road, so in our meeting I kept telling him "That's a good idea, but I don't think it belongs in this first paper," and he told me he is always like that and he has a Russian friend who said in Russian they say thinking way down the road like that is being like Napoleon. Jean had her French class and her conversation exchange today, both of which went well, and the kids had school today, their first since the break. They were reluctant to go but were troopers. At the end they said they had a great day. Yesterday in the evening, or yesternight as the kids say, we were playing 20 questions and they were so tired they couldn't even get the easiest people. They had the following information about the person they were trying to guess from me. It's someone in our family, a twin of girl girl twins, not Mila or Kala, and she has bangs. Then they gave up. Gemma guessed "Ousman", a boy here in her French class. Max guessed "a rhinoceros". Sometimes they remind us they're only 5 years old, especially when they're tired.
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Click here for the week of 03/06/16.
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