Week of Money: On the Red-Eye to Europe & the dreaded chickenpox…
??:?? — The baby cousin sobs every 3 hours. I’ve forgotten how babies DO NOT sleep through the night and am sort of secretly relieved that he doesn’t because this is one disproving example of how not all French-born and bred babies sleep through the night at 3 months due to some magical French parenting methods… I feel vindicated.
??:?? — I did notice last night that they put the baby into the crib and leave them to cry. Every 5-10 minutes they alternate going to the crib and soothing the child but won’t pick him up or bring him out again. He is there and that is it. Little Bun is getting flack for not eating by himself and he actually knows how to but we are so used to feeding him that we forget to just let him do it. I make a mental note to have him feed himself from now on.
??:?? — I wake up to the sound of my partner flipping the light switch on and off, drunk AF, telling me the light doesn’t work… I have to forcibly take him to the bed and make him sleep. Next time he goes out, he has to bring his niece so he doesn’t go overboard, like a chaperone. Now the whole day is “lost” because he isn’t awake and won’t be until the afternoon. Plus he is jet lagged.
??:?? — I go back to sleep, trying to sleep off the fatigue and Transderm patch, along with jet lag. Little Bun is still conked out but woke a few times due to his father’s drunk antics.
11:24 a.m. — I get up with Little Bun later, wash my face etc and then head upstairs. Everyone left for the morning/afternoon to do things. I make a plain tea and feed Little Bun a yoghurt and banana for breakfast. Then I have a few biscuits with my tea and that’s enough. We eat so much at night that I am never hungry in the mornings.
12:00 p.m. — I check the time and it is 6 a.m. EST on the dot! Exactly the time I’d wake up at home except here it is 6 hours later and it is already the afternoon.
12:05 p.m. — I didn’t mention this but when we arrived, his cousin was JUST showing chicken pox spots. They are contagious for 5 days after the spots appear, and we arrived at JUST the moment he got sick. *sigh*… I am not looking forward to this but we may not be able to travel and go home if Little Bun gets chickenpox and cannot go on the plane to endanger other people like pregnant women or small infants. It’s highly contagious. #%*#%)!$….
12:16 p.m. — I try to log into the internet to start working but his niece is the only one with a password so I leave it alone.
12:45 p.m. — First night here and I’m already covered in bug bites. 6 total. 6 x 30 means an expected 180 bites in total … sigh. Maybe double that seeing as the six came from ONE night.
1:33 p.m. — My partner finally wakes up and we have lunch of octopus, vegetables, and then finish with fruit. Little Bun… eats at least a good chunk of my octopus and bread, then proceeds to eat an entire mango, tangerine, banana, and half a cup of pineapples. This child is a a bottomless pit!!! In contrast, his cousin has to be coaxed to eat, to tell him that he has to “win” each time by eating his plate. I’m fairly sure if Little Bun ate as much as the other one, he would be even skinnier than he is now.
1:48 p.m. — We head out to the mall via bus (no child car seat in the car, have to buy one). We pick up a child’s car seat for €26.90, and I wander downstairs to see a shop that I like, and can’t find a shirt for my mother in a pretty print or colour like I did last year. I see one in stripes but it looks like an awkward shape and not her style as much as it is mine if they had cut it a little less over sized. I end up picking up a caftan-like maxi dress in white that is SO not my style but I still like it anyway. Makes me look like some lady of leisure… lol… €16.95
2:58 p.m. — We get home, and I log in and start working.
3:05 p.m. — Everyone bustles around us as I am working. Little Bun is quiet with crayons and colouring. And then quiet again with the iPad – I allowed him a free 1-week trial for this Math App that makes you pay $40 USD PER QUARTER. No effin’ way am I paying that.
6:11 p.m. — We go out and pick a box of heirloom tomatoes from the garden… We would have paid a FORTUNE for this back home:
8:28 p.m. — Dinner, and I am trying to get him to play with cousins but he is SO SHY… ugh…
12:56 a.m. — Bedtime. No joke.
??:?? — I wake up somewhat refreshed to see my baby’s face right in front of mine, smiling like a sweet little cherub. I smile back and give him a hug and kiss.
10:00 a.m. — I wash my face and get ready and then he eats a yoghurt with a banana, and has a few bites of my breakfast biscuit which I wash down with black milky tea.
10:30 a.m. — I log in and start working as he does math on the iPad.
10:47 a.m. — Everyone leaves for the morning to do things. The little baby has chicken pox and I THINK I have had a mild case of it before in high school but I was told by my doctor I could get it again because it wasn’t very bad. Little Bun on the other hand has never had it before so I’m trying to keep him away from the baby but this kid has drooled on and touched everything. I’m almost certain he will end up with it in 9-21 days because Little Bun touches everything and puts his fingers in his mouth often.
1:25 p.m. — My partner wakes up and makes a gorgeous deep yellow omelette with vegetables and ham for us. Little Bun gobbles that down, and finishes with a yoghurt and some peaches.
2:47 p.m. — We get ready and head out. This year is far more relaxing and super handy that his niece lives here now and has a car!!! I will never speak ill about this car again. It has made life easier for us. No more bus especially with a little one.
3:23 p.m. — Little Bun is conked out on my shoulder in the car.
4:59 p.m. — We go and buy things in various stores and I find some math books for Little Bun for an euro each. I buy all three.
5:00 p.m. — We drop by a shoe store and I almost buy a pair of rose gold sandals but resist.
6:11 p.m. — Little Bun conks out on my shoulder on the way back and I carry him in and he sleeps on my chest, I try to transfer him to the bed and he wakes up. Damn it. I knew he would but I tried anyway hoping it wouldn’t be the same as in the past. He seems fine though.
6:36 a.m. — We go upstairs, I log in and work. Little Bun does math puzzles on the iPad.
7:29 p.m. — Time for a bath. I feel grimy.
8:08 p.m. — The night passes as expected (3 new bug bites) and near the end I’m heartened to see Little Bun and his cousin FINALLY connect. They run around the whole house chasing each other and giggling like crazy. I leave them to do dangerous things like climb up and down the stairs at night.
10:25 p.m. — We eat a huge dinner (kids are not as hungry and then we all go to sleep but my partner stays up late and I end up not sleeping until the whole family sleeps and his friend leaves. … AT FOUR FREAKIN’ AM!!! <– found out this time from my sister in law…
??:?? — I am going to lose it.
Spent: $0 – Pending. I am spending money but it is joint. Personal spending is pretty much on a hiatus all trip.
??:?? — I wake up as predicted, super tired AF. I get up with Little Bun who is well rested and had slept long before the noise stopped.
6:02 a.m. — I wash my face and make a tea, eating some fried cake thing Mamie made for breakfast — it is like eating dessert for a meal…. Little Bun eats unsweetened yoghurt with a banana afterwards.
11:23 a.m. —We hang around until it is time for the cousins to leave. Little Bun refuses to say goodbye and the little cousin is confused — I can see that he thought they were friends now. I’m frustrated to say the least.. I suspect it is in Little Bun’s nature to be extremely introverted and shy and I don’t want to force him but it is very hard on me. Apparently my partner was JUST like this as a kid but as he had siblings, his mother couldn’t devote 100% of her time to him the way I do to Little Bun. Damned if you do….
2:47 p.m. —We get ready to go to a wedding. I’m dressed and Little Bun looks super handsome.
3:11 p.m. — We don’t go to church at all as we are not religious and he is unfamiliar with protocols of sitting still and being quiet inside. He starts singing and chanting numbers and I immediately whisk him outside where I read a book to him and then he calmly lays his head down and naps. He even misses the confetti celebration….
5:00 p.m. — I wake him up an hour later and he is grumpy, but we head to the dinner… IN ANOTHER TOWN. OMG. Why did we not stay in town? We are half an hour away and I don’t get why they invited so many people if they couldn’t afford it. Should invite LESS folks, and stay in town for the dinner. Now people are drinking and driving which is very unsafe instead of being in town and walking home safely. Just because it is cheaper out of town and they can have more folks. What if they die on the way home? If they don’t drink they won’t have a good time (I don’t drink but I understand people have a need to, to loosen up and party)…WTF.
8:24 p.m. — The night just drags on. Little Bun fills up on these little fish cakes, then another fish and potato cream fish (like a gratin) and scoffs down three helpings of cake before announcing at 1 a.m. that he wants to go back home to Mamie’s because he is tired. He very cutely keeps repeating he wants ” to go back to France” and “back home to Mamie’s”, because he has associated the entire country with one home. Everything outside of this home is “Not France”. LOL
9:38 p.m. — I try to heavily hint that we should leave but I’m not in charge of driving so we are helpless and stuck until our ride wants to go. I get crosser and crosser near the end and end up swearing in English (that’s how you know I’m ANGRY), because when we are about to leave it is another 45 minutes before we ACTUALLY leave. All the while, Little Bun is extremely cranky and I’m suffering the brunt of it.
11:05 p.m. — We finally go, bisous all around, and I hustle everyone out of the place. My partner will take a ride back with his cousin because there is no space left in the car….
12:22 a.m. — At home, I remove all my makeup (great three new pimples because I didn’t bring blush and had to use lipstick on my cheeks), and collapse into bed where we fall into a deeeeep sleep.
1:03 a.m. — I hear my partner come in and close the window but then I drop back off to sleep. I’m really tired. I find myself very drained by these events. Past a certain hour like 8 or 9, it stops being fun for me. I need to be alone and reading a book or resting after that to recharge. These events go on too long, and a small child is too much to handle at these things especially since he is not used to it like the others.
??:?? — I wake up exhausted. Little Bun has his face in front of mine and says cheerily: Mommy I am awake now!! … ugh.. I am certain we got only about 7 hours of sleep, and we are jet lagged still as it is 4 a.m. in Montreal time. We did NOT sleep enough. We have to stay in today and nap to catch up.
6:23 a.m. —I bring Little Bun up to eat breakfast and he only wants unsweetened yoghurt … no banana so I make a tea and feed him. He is CRANKY and everyone is sympathetic to me knowing how hard it is to carry him all the time and be at his beck and call… they all try to tell him to give me a break but he just gets angrier like a bristly hedgehog and starts crying. He is tired too. Not well-rested means he is more prone and sensitive to any sort of stimulation unless it is only from me.
10:33 a.m. —He spends the morning sobbing in my chest as I try to drink tea and work with him buried into my chest, and I try to eat something but the old pancakes are SO DRY they taste like sawdust and I don’t want to bother. This stuff needs to be soaked in milk or it needs a goooood creamy topping.
10:46 a.m. —They leave to run errands and he finally calms down. He needs quiet time either alone by himself or with Mommy quiet in the room beside him. He is a sensitive child…
11:02 a.m. —My partner gets up and comes upstairs — Little Bun is happy to see him but clings to me like a koala cub. He doesn’t want me out of his sight and keeps saying: “Go with Mommy! I want to stay with Mommy, go with Mommy and Mommy will wait for me because I am NOT rushing.”, as he very carefully climbs down the steep steps heading down into the basement where we are staying. how can you not love him, as a mother? I won’t have chances like this as he gets older and more self-assured and confident (e.g. won’t want his mother).
12:10 p.m. — He plays by himself on the iPad as I work and then a friend comes to visit.
12:31 p.m. — My partner has convinced him to immigrate to Canada — he is an engineer — and he starts asking questions about visas and so on.
12:55 p.m. — After his friend leaves, my partner and I gossip about everything from the wedding to his friend immigrating… LOL.. this is nice. I like these moments between him and me where we are just as we were before Little Bun.
1:17 p.m. — Everyone returns and Little Bun retreats to the bedroom to be alone with me and away from others — too many people is over stimulation for him. He can handle maybe 2 people, 3 max at once. I scroll on Instagram, too tired for anything else.
1:38 p.m. — My baby naps.
2:02 p.m. — I nap too. Waffling between wanting to buy yet another striped dress on sale or not online, or to steel my resolve …. I shut down the browser to not tempt myself any more but have a feeling I will buy something.
2:22 p.m. — I wake up but am groggy. I take him to the bathroom and plead with him to play with the iPad while I sleep some more.
3:40 p.m. — I force myself awake but I don’t feel good. I log in and work, then take 2 calls.
5:18 p.m. — My partner starts the barbecue with charcoal and wood from the forest around us, and Little Bun plays with his cousin (older, in university) kicking the ball back and forth.
7:29 p.m. — Dinner. He eats most of the pork with chives and bread, then some pineapples, then a piece of cake, and I play with him, kicking the ball back and forth until he runs off and collapses on the stairs, too tired but super happy from having played so much all day. I want him to be very physical outside but it is hard when I am working. He needs to be physically tired out as well as mentally. He plays on the iPad doing math quietly while I chat outside.
10:15 p.m. — We go inside and spend the next half an hour slapping at flies attracted by the light. My sister in law shrieks when I show her a big green beetle bug thing…
1:03 a.m. — I desperately bust out a firetruck for Little Bun I brought (my last and almost the only big bribe left) and he plays happily on the floor. Then he gets tired, and announces: MOMMY. I am sleepy. I want to go to sleep. and we head downstairs.
10:05 a.m. — So. Freaking. Well. Rested. I wake up before anyone, and head upstairs. I have a cup of tea quietly, some biscuits and Little Bun is still conked out. My partner follows up after me, then gets dressed to head out.
11:51 a.m. — Little Bun is still sleeping. BLISS. I am working as fast as I can, I have a call in an hour. My partner is out and I request a box of crayons for Little Bun. I also wish I had bought a bug zapper, fly swatters… a huge suitcase of this stuff, frankly.
12:38 p.m. — I hear a little wail downstairs. Little Bun is up! I go quickly to him, calling out – Mommy is coming!.. so that he isn’t scared that we abandoned him because the house is super quiet. He is tucked up in bed with covers up to his chin and grins when he sees me enter. I kneel down beside him and smother him in kisses, and ask him if he slept well. He nods, I bring him to the bathroom, then set him up with some yoghurt and a banana, then wash my face.
12:40 p.m. — Ugh. What is this stuff? I am trying samples out from Paula’s Choice and this antioxidant serum for Dry & Normal skin feels like spreading HONEY on my face. Gross. I’m all shiny and sticky now. I re-wash my face three times to remove this serum. Hard pass.
12:59 p.m. — I bring Little Bun back downstairs, and let him log into his iPad to watch videos. I hate the stupid ones where they just dip things into colours and call it a video but for some reason he likes seeing things change colour. I have a call in about 20 minutes so I wrap up on my eating – with another cup of tea.
1:00 p.m. — On the call, it goes kind of smoothly.. until…. EVERYONE COMES HOME. OMFG. So much noise. I try to close the door to escape but people come in and are chatting and I can’t stop any of it. There is nowhere else to go because the wifi is only strong in one part of the house (it is all old stone and signals are very weak outside of the room with the router).
1:28 p.m. — Little Bun is carried up by his father, red-faced and in tears. He missed me and went looking for me. I’m desperate, on the call and trying to work but Little Bun wants to be cuddled and bursts into wailing tears. I frantically hit mute and un-mute to try and minimize the noise.
1:46 p.m. — Call almost over. They ask me to stay on for the status call after this call, and I’m all like: No Effing Way. I’m out, betches!…. I manage to hold off Little Bun (who is literally clinging to my back right now like a koala), by colouring with him in his book. He gets interested in my drawing and calms down, colouring beside me, but making noise (e.g. talking…) about what I am doing on the paper. OMG.
(HEY!?!? Give it up for me.. I even did a nice gradient rainbow at the bottom)
1:51 p.m. — Now people are coming INTO THE ROOM TO EAT. OMG. SO MUCH NOISE. I wish I could mute everyone. I’m really trying to finish the call as fast as possible. I hurriedly hang up. Then I get 3 emails from the directors thanking me for joining the call. They literally could not continue without me, this is both gratifying and sad at the same time that I’m basically managing the managers.
2:05 p.m. — Lunch. Pasta with smoked ham (which Little Bun super eagerly gobbles down), and turkey schnitzel — I am certain there is a French name for this dish, but it is basically turkey schnitzel which I looooooooove and my partner hates. I eat it happily with pasta, and Little Bun eats about 5 helpings of pasta because he’s Mommy’s Little Piglet.
3:11 p.m. — Lunch over, water in our bellies, we have a piece of cream custard cake afterwards.
4:19 p.m. — Little Bun wants to do math on his iPad and I let him as I work on finishing things and sending in my timesheet. I am praying to everything possible that the two vaccinations Little Bun got, will 80% – 94% prevent chickenpox in him and he will NOT GET IT.
4:42 p.m. — We lie down. Maybe a little nap and then we’ll go out?.. No idea. Half the family leaves to go back home so now it’s just Mamie, my partner, Little Bun and me alone in the house.
4:57 p.m. — My partner is passed out. Little Bun is full of energy. He only woke up 5 hours ago so.. yeah. He won’t be napping today but sleeping earlier than 1 a.m. for sure.
5:12 p.m. — Guilt-ridden (solly not solly), I log in and buy these two ribbed striped t-shirt dresses because I CANNOT HELP MYSELF. Striped? Ribbed? DRESS? … Just take my money already. At least I said no to the jumpsuits. I still can’t get over having to undress myself completely to go to the bathroom. And yet, it looks so sleek….. $147.50
5:38 p.m. — I buy a gorgeous white trench dress too.. $92.98
6:52 p.m. — Up from our nap, I feel dizzy… I need MORE sleep but I am not getting enough or.. sleeping too much I don’t even know. I’m dizzy.
7:59 p.m. — I log in and work, and spy a cute tulle skirt and almost want to buy that jumpsuit that I am hemming and hawing on and am RELIEVED that the codes I used to buy the other two items today, expired. Fine. Can’t buy anything else. Phew.
8:11 p.m. — I kick the ball around with Little Bun before dinner.
8:45 p.m. — Little Bun Cuteness: “Mommy. Daddy’s in the Cooking Room…” (Kitchen.)
9:27 p.m. — We play more soccer. I really tire him out. Then we eat a delicious mango that is the sweetest I have had in years.
12:25 p.m. — Teeth all brushed, time for bed. I left ALL the lights off and closed all the doors so we have zero bugs in the room tonight. I learned my lesson.
??:?? — My partner is awoken by his mother and they head out quietly to the market. I am far too tired to handle Little Bun to go out as well. We need the rest.
??:?? — Little Bun: “Mommy. It’s SATURDAY. I’m UP now. Please get up.”
9:07 a.m. — Cup of tea, yoghurt, bananas are rotten, and we eat some breakfast cakes.
9:25 a.m. — I wash my hair in the bathtub to feel clean. We will shower today in the nighttime because it is grimy and hot in the afternoons and it’ll feel nicer at night.
9:59 a.m. — I log in and buy two bodysuits that are mandarin collared from J.Crew. I grit my teeth and pay the $12 shipping from J. Crew because they are the only ones with REASONABLY priced bodysuits that don’t need to constantly be re-tucked into high-waisted things. I use a code and get 30% off a striped and a white bodysuit with a mandarin collar. I take the size 4 (stab in the dark and I hope it fits) because I am usually a size 6 in the shoulders for these kinds of fitted shirts, but I know J. Crew runs large so I size down one size. $161.94
10:03 a.m. — My partner returns back and is already cooking. The bus broke down so they had to wait for the second one. I am glad I didn’t go.
11:48 a.m. — Whatever he is making smells GOOD….. I am getting hungry.
12:08 p.m. — Oh. It’s just leftovers we’re eating. He cooked for tonight’s dinner instead.
12:28 p.m. — We finish eating dinner. Little Bun practically eats the entire hunk of fish by himself with bread.
1:56 p.m. — Little Bun goes down for a nap. Finally. I decide not to nap because I woke up with headaches the last 2 days of napping. Instead, I buy a few shirts I KNOW my mother will love online and I hope they’ll fit her. She would never pay these prices for shirts for herself, but I know she will enjoy wearing them immensely. $280.92
3:43 p.m. — It is official. Headache, fatigue, runny nose, sore throat.. I definitely have a cold. I feel sick AF.
6:11 p.m. — I try to lie down but Little Bun insists on playing soccer so I force myself up to play with him until I am too dizzy and have to lie back down.
7:45 p.m. — Dinner. I lift myself off from the bed where I was resting and I eat just a little rice and mushrooms, avoiding the chicken (it’s breast… too dry for me, the dog will eat it instead).
8:30 p.m. — I help clean up and do all the dishes, then go to lie down, but Little Bun bursts into tears. I forgot that in the morning I promised him I would play soccer with him after dinner as well. I try to get out of it but a promise is a promise and I give in.
9:50 p.m. — Surprisingly, I feel better while playing. Maybe it is the breeze, the cool night air, the little bit of exercise. I play until Little Bun wants to stop. His underwear is wet, he didn’t want to stop playing, and I rush him to the bathroom.
10:00 p.m. — After teeth brushing and night routines, time for bed.
10:28 p.m. — My partner can’t sleep. He napped too much (TWICE) during the day so OF COURSE he can’t sleep. I skipped the nap so I am tired. He gets up and goes out to see what’s happening in the village (he hears music).
??:?? — He comes home and I wake up then fall back asleep.
9:00 a.m. — Still sick. I get up, do my morning routine, and my nose is itching like mad (allergies), plus I am covered in bug bites, my throat is sore, my nose is running nonstop. Great.
9:22 a.m. — I make two teas and try to give half of a biscuit (to limit sugar) to Little Bun who eats it, then halfway through bursts into tears because he wanted a WHOLE, UNBROKEN, UNEATEN biscuit. I calmly take the “broken” half eaten biscuit from his paws, while he is sobbing hysterically, and I go and get him a whole one. This is not the time to argue and I would have given him a whole one anyway so… we will just eat less sugar during the day.
9:37 a.m. — The book Year of No Sugar really hit home for me and I have started becoming more conscious of all the ways I add sugar to my food — in my yoghurts, my teas sometimes… I won’t be giving it up completely, but I am going to halve as much as possible and stop “treating” myself to sugar. I’d rather shop or go to the spa instead, and that would be healthier for me.
11:58 a.m. — “Lunch” if you can call it that. I ate plain white pasta (NOTHING ELSE) and Little Bun had some vegetables with his plain pasta. I’m sick, so I snap to my partner that there was NOTHING else to eat with it, not even some tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes.. he snaps back angrily that next time I’m going to stay at home, to which I reply: FINE. THIS IS FOR YOUR MOTHER NOT MINE. … If he wants to bring up that #%#%) again, I would much rather go to Toronto for 4 weeks than come here. I did it for him and for Little Bun but if he doesn’t see that #*%) and wants to make it seem like it is for ME, he can go EFF himself. At least he’ll know for the next lunch to not just give plain pasta again. I mean, I am not expecting a huge spread each time but I am expecting some basic food especially since he is complaining about how there is nothing to do — so COOK.
1:47 p.m. — Time for a nap. I am now hungry and very annoyed.
3:15 p.m. — We finally nap. I have such a headache I can’t even. I fall into a deep sleep.
5:10 p.m. — We all wake up. I am still groggy and could have slept longer to be honest. I start a load of laundry. My head is feeling a bit better but I am still dizzy and very tired. I need MORE sleep… my body seems to be craving it more and more and more…
6:37 p.m. — We eat dinner after playing a bit of soccer, and I warn Little Bun to be careful of the flowers and not to kick the ball into her pretty roses:
7:28 p.m. — We take a shower – I soap and hose Little Bun down in this TINY LITTLE SHOWER STALL. These places in Europe especially the less modern ones, are very inconvenient. The shower stall just barely fits one adult, the kitchen has a shallow sink so that the water sprays all over you when you go to wash deep pots, etc. I am sure that if we had built this house, we would have made sure to have a deeeeeep farm sink and a lot of space to prepare food, along with a LARGE shower stall so that you can squeeze a small child and an adult in there to help soap them down. Or just to have space as an adult..
8:03 p.m. — Then we get out and realize that everyone went wild blackberry picking, so we dress and join in. These bushes are prickly and people normally don’t bother to pick these delicious, sweet FREE berries because it is so much hassle with the thorns… but we soldier on and get a cooking pot full of them. I am certain the pot will be gone by tomorrow.
9:27 p.m. — We aren’t tired, we all napped, so we go for a nice walk around the village — it is cool and fresh at night.
10:25 p.m. — Back home. We watch a little TV and chat. I drink some of Mamie’s homemade wine and it isn’t bad! Not very boozy… I like it. MY partner poured me a HUGE glass though and I felt obligated to drink most of it until about 1/5 left, I felt very dizzy, nauseous, tired, woozy.. and not at all GOOD. I dumped the rest into the sink and slowly wobble downstairs to sleep.
12:05 a.m. — Bedtime. FOR SURE. I am really not feeling well. Why did I think I could drink alcohol? I KNOW I CAN’T. It feels like I have a headache, and I am tired and nauseous. It is like drinking and having a hangover immediately.. right? I don’t know, I have never really drunk enough to have a hangover.
Want more? Read all of my previous Week of Money Diaries.