He talks and talks and talks!

In the past week Blaise has really ramped up the chattiness. He’s started saying “Yeah”, “Tiens”, “Delicious”, and “Thanks” amongst other things. He surprised me with three new words in one day, but now I can’t think what they were.

He also squeals and squeaks at things on the TV and is ever more obsessed with his cars. He dances lots and kisses properly now (instead of just putting his face near you and hoping that works).

Little chocolate face is being adorable over breakfast.

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Gwen’s her usual mischievous self. She’s been getting really good at puzzles lately and absolutely LOVES drawing. She even tried some writing the other day – she said she wrote “Blaise” and she actually made a few decent letters (G was particularly good).

Gwen’s making lots of new friends at school. She likes Alexandre, Louison, Simon, Valentine, Wissan, Lilia and a bunch of lovely girls I don’t know the names of yet. I might put some pictures from Gwen’s school up on Flickr soon. You’ll have to log in to see them though, sorry. I won’t make them public. It’s hard to believe she’s only been at school three months. She loves it and it’s all second nature now. Her French is improving too.

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Most of our evening walks are at sunset now, so there are a lot of great sunset pictures in my collection. As Gwen likes telling me, “It’s beautiful maman! Take a photo!”.

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Not a lot more to add. It’s getting colder, but is still surprisingly warm for the end of November. Bruce still works too much, but he’s not out on the road too often. He went to Belgium for a conference a while back, though!

I’m busy with work and singing, as usual. No change, really. 🙂

Both kids are speed demons and love going fast on our bikes or in the pram. They love their own bikes too, but FAST is important.

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What’s New In The World Of Gwen And Blaise?

Since our last post in May there have been a few major developments in our little family. Watch this little video of our bookworms to see the kids in action.

Lazing on a sunny afternoon

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Biscuits and Pixar. Sweet together.

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E-I-E-I-O

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Gwen’s News

In September 2014 Gwen started at the local Ecole Maternelle, which is technically school but is a lot like Kindergarten. They have a proper classroom, but they spend a lot of time playing in their cafe, drawing, playing games and the like. She LOVES it so much. Every morning she acts shy, but by the afternoon she’s running around like a crazy thing playing with all the other little kids. Also, she’s becoming less fussy about food as she’s at school all day with a proper school lunch. They eat really well (and there’s no alternative food), so I’m sure that’s why she’s trying lots of new things at home now.

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Pretty and ready for a birthday lunch

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Summer nights!

She is gorgeous.

A postcard? For ME?!?!?!

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Gwen’s in a class with older kids, which is probably good for her in terms of learning French. The class of kids her own age are a bit less talkative. Why is she with older kids? Well, for starters she’s one of the youngest kids in the school (there were about 40 kids in our town bumped up from creche to school early because there wasn’t enough room for them in the new creche). There are two classes of Petit Section at this school, and they tried to make the older kids go in one class and the younger ones in the other. But the numbers didn’t add up, so 5 lucky kids got chosen to go up to the next class. By surname. Me, I would have chosen the oldest kids, but whatever. As I said, I think it’s actually doing her some good.

First Day Of School (Maternelle/Kindy)

She’s started talking in French more often to us, and it’s clear from a few conversations that she understands what’s going on at school. When she speaks French to us, it’s usually a full sentence, then she switches back to English. So, she’ll say “J’ai fini!” or “Qu’est-ce qu’on fait?” randomly, with a sprinkling of “Alors” when she’s trying to think of something to draw.

The latest development is that Gwen turned three (see the video of her blowing out candles)! She’s currently obsessed with her new kitchen from her great Nanny. Blaise is too – that thing rocks. Gwen’s also big on dinosaurs and books, so she got lots of them for her birthday too.

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Bruce took Gwen on a special birthday adventure the day after her birthday (because in France there is no school on Wednesday afternoons), but he hasn’t uploaded the pictures yet. It will have to wait for another post.

Blaise’s News

Blaise finally started walking pretty much on the dot of turning 18 months. That was also a big turning point for teeth and talking too. He got four new teeth (for a total of 8) the week of turning 18 months. Then a week later he got another 4 molars coming through. So much teething pain!

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Yes?

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LOVES his bike.

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Nee Nor, Nee Nor

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On the talking front, he mostly said “Oh dear!” and made animal noises before 18 months. Since then he’s taken up a couple of new words every day or so, both in French and English. Blaise has also started at a new creche, which is bigger than the other one so he gets to hang out with kids his own age. I think that helps.

Blaise is totally obsessed with cars (and Pocoyo). He has piles of toy cars and trucks which are the best things ever. Also, the steering wheel toy rocks, and he lives for the times when papa takes him for a drive in the real car. He LOVES Top Gear, but gets angry when they stop driving their cars. He starts yelling at them, going “Broom BROOM!” and “No. Ready steady GO!”

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He has also grown quite a bit since our last post. Check out this cute little smile. 🙂

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Holiday In Cahors

At the end of August we went on a camping trip in Cahors (Reflets de Quercy), which was more like Glamping than camping, but without the glam (if that makes sense). The tent was furnished and had all the kitchen things we’d need, like a fridge, cooker, crockery and cutlery. Most importantly, the tent was in a campground that had an awesome pool and play area, which we made good use of.

Reflets de Quercy Pool

Kitted out tent

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Hello!

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Bouncing!

We went on a couple of great daytrips in the area. The big trip was to Padirac Cave (see the official site and some tourist info) and then Rocamadour (more tourist info). The campsite organised a bus tour, which we realised later was the best way to see the caves as you didn’t have to wait in the MASSIVE line. Anyway, those caves were amazing – the best I’ve ever seen and probably the best I will ever see in my life. Photography wasn’t allowed, so check out the websites to see how impressive it is (the official site has a brilliant virtual tour). Also, we got one official photo taken (on a gondola in the cave), but I don’t have the digital version of that just now. I’ll add it later [Edit: Added]. Rocomadour was also pretty amazing. It’s a castle and a cathedral on the side of a cliff. We spent a few hours there and got a tour of some parts of it.

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Rocomadour

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The other big daytrip was a road-train ride around Cahors. We were right in thinking the kids would love the train, and we’d love seeing the sights without having to carry the kids. It was about an hour and a half of sight-seeing, and I swear they hadn’t run out of interesting stuff to show us by the end of it. Quite a fascinating town, really. Wouldn’t mind living there!

It’s now months since the holiday. Gwen still asks when we’re going back to our tent. 🙂

Singing

Bruce and I are both still singing with the local choir, and I’m still singing with the Lotelles Trio, as well as branching out alone.

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Family Mailing List

If you’re part of the Alcorn family, sign up to hear about all of our endeavours. You’ll get a post once per week (or no post if no-one’s written anything) with any personal blog posts any of us made, including Jennie’s dogs. And if you’ve got a blog that should be included, bug Ange.

If you’re a friend of Ange (or family that’s not from the Alcorn side) sign up to this one instead. 🙂

Gwen Is Two! Blaise is One! This post is really late!

Wow, so more than a year flitted by and all of a sudden, Gwen is two! Blaise is one!

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We considered having a party for Gwen’s 2nd birthday, but no-one was free when we were. Instead, she took a cake to crèche and we had another little cake at home. It was nice and simple.

Gwen absolutely loved all the presents she got too. Thanks everyone! She also got the hang of opening birthday presents, and the fact that we say “Happy Birthday”. Now whenever she sees a parcel she says “More happy?”. Cute, but deadly.

Gwen's 2nd Birthday!

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Blaise also skipped the birthday party thing for his 1st birthday. We nearly went to a soft-play place with some friends, but people weren’t available when we were, so we just stayed home. He loved his gifts though, so thank you everyone!

Blaise's 1st Birthday!

Somewhere in there was a Christmas celebration or two and maybe an adult birthday, but what do we care about those anymore?

Doesn't like Father christmas AT ALL.

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Ange's birthday

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There is in fact so much to say that there is nothing to say. There’s nowhere to start. We spend all our time looking after little kids and working. That’s about the size of it. Bruce and I look older every day. The kids keep getting taller and growing out of their clothes.

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We have been fairly awful at updating this blog, but with two toddlers and no sleep time it’s not actually surprising. I hear there’s a point where the parents get sleep again? Anyway, our little family is lovely and we’re enjoying life generally. By the way, videos don’t embed nicely to this blog, so if you want to “meet” the kids, browse the collection of Blaise’s videos and Gwen’s videos.

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Feel free to check out our pages about what Blaise is like and what Gwen is like. I do try to update those every few months just so we remember the details. Also feel free to check the hall of fame to see our list of visitors over the years. Other than that we have photos. I will now studiously sprinkle some through this article. Click them for the rest of the sets.

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We now have as many kids as we can handle!

Most of you will know by now that we’ve had another kid, Blaise Frank Alcorn, born in the middle of March. He’s in perfect health and REALLY cute. In fact, he’s so similar to Gwen when she was a newborn that I think there will come a time where the date the photo was taken will be the only indicator of which child is featuring in the photo. Well, for newborn pics anyway.

We’ve created a page for Blaise on our blog to keep up with the changes as they fly by, but also see the photos on Flickr: here’s a collection of Blaise’s photo sets, Blaise’s first few days, all of Blaise’s photos and our favourite photos so far.

We’re not planning on having more kids, which is probably a good thing as these two are quite a handful. They’re lovely and all, but they always seem to need attention at the same time.

Other than this huge piece of news, there’s not a lot else to add. We’ve both had parental leave for the past 2 weeks, but Bruce will have to go back to work soon. The weather’s finally warming up (after some random Spring snow when Blaise was born) and we’ll soon be able to eat outside in the garden again. Looking forward to it!