26 August 2010

Nathan's first day of preschool

Nathan's first day of school went very well! It was wonderful not to have to leave him behind as we went to work early in the morning. He was so excited the night before that he couldn't fall asleep; he kept creating excuses to get up, like having to go to the bathroom, or wanting to watch a movie or sleep in our bed. The best one came at about 11:30 PM, when I heard him calling from his room, "Mommy, I need a nail cutter!" He never wants me to cut his nails!

The first day is always a half day, so it was not too overwhelming for the little ones. The teachers reported that he had a great time and was very independent. There was no crying or fighting, and he went potty at the designated time so there were no accidents.

Here are just a few memorable photos of Nathan with some of his schoolmates and his teachers, Ms. Hasmik and Ms. Marina (his former nanny)!

15 August 2010

3 Years Old!

Saturday, August 14: the day before

Admiring Baker Daddy's Masterpiece (vanilla cake, layered pineapples, and
coconut frosting)

Sunday, August 15: the party

Fun in the kiddie pool

Throwing wet sponges at the wall


Pasta salad for lunch

Birthday blowout

Fireworks are better than candles

Opening presents

A new shirt

A watercolor set

Of course, with two teachers for parents, Nathan gets school supplies for his birthday

Monday, August 16: family fun at Play City

arcade games

the labyrinth


Whew! And now we have a 3 year-old. Here's to another year of family adventures!

04 August 2010

Unleashing the artist within

Paris was so beautiful that we feel compelled to share a few more photos (you can see all of them on Photobucket). Quite frequently, we were surprised and captivated by unexpected moments of beauty, for in Paris, even ordinary things are somehow more lovely than they might be anywhere else. For example...

neighborhood parish churches,

kids playing football,

typical apartment buildings,

and the Town Hall (for the 5th arrondisement).


For MUCH more on the everyday beauty in Paris, you absolutely must subscribe to Paris Breakfasts, authored by Carol Gillott, who shares her often humorous and always delicious perspective on life as an American artist in Paris.


Sometime last year we discovered FotoSketcher, a neat little piece of freeware designed by an art-loving programmer (who, coincidentally, happens to be French); and with all the fab pictures from our trip, we've had some fun the past few days transforming some of our favorite photographs into our very own works of art! Below you will see our original photos, each of which is followed by its FotoSketcher rendition in various "media" (see captions).

The rose window on the west fa├žade of Notre Dame...

...as a black and white pencil sketch

The Orangerie garden at Versailles...

...in oil pastel

Nathan sees the Eiffel Tower up close for the first time...
...as an oil painting

A side street leading to the Champ de Mars...
...imagined in pen and ink

A little balcony on a residential street...

...in watercolor

A high-flying ride at the Tuillerie Gardens...

...vividly recreated with colored dots

Relaxing in our suite...
...is better in oil painting

Looking toward Monmartre from the north bell tower of Notre Dame...

...realized in pen and ink