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Buy me a ticket to crazytown

February 21, 2011

So, things, as usual chez nous are a lot of talking, thinking, considering, measuring and all that good stuff.

I am still avoiding the job like the plague.  My most recent idea, which is what earns me the blog title above, is to become a nounou.  I really like kids.  Always have.  And, it seems to be mutual.  At parties the little kids flock to me, because I can’t help but play with them.  This, coupled with my total lack of desire to go back to my soul sucking job, has led me to the conclusion that I should maybe consider doing the nounou thing.  Plus, and I am not sure if French people would consider this an atout or not, but I could speak English to the little ones, ensuring at least some exposure, and if I had them until they went to school they might even have some basics in English.  I am not sure if this is crazy or not, but it is a way that I could stay at home, be here for my kids, be here for other kids, and also make a little money.

In between researching that, I am trying so hard to finish Fall of Giants, by Ken Follet.  I generally love all of his stuff and this seems to be no exception, though I am waiting to see how it all ties together in the end!!

I also worked in our yard some this weekend.  And, suprise, suprise, I really liked it.  I seem to forget that every year.  I also re-learnt, like every year, that I trim things like my Dad.  Basically, I cut it all back to a few sticks poking out of the ground.  Oops.  Here is to hoping that it all grows back fine…  I left MissL in the house with her Papa, while I tromped around in the yard some.  It was so cute, she waited for me, standing at the big glass door for the whole time I was gone.  Every time I walked by she raised her little hand to wave to me.  I think my heart melted about a thousand times.

When it is not raining, we have been going for walks.  The stoller I leave at home now, MissL likes to strike out on her own, and check things out.  And there are tons of things to look at on our walks.  Dogs, dirt, mud, leaves, fences, plants…  Her favorite is when we walk by the neighbors house.  His dogs are really friendly, and Bandit likes to slip in their yard and run wild with his retrievers for a few minutes before popping back over to our side.  It is pretty comical to see, and MissL loves to stand on the road side of the fence and watch, giggling the whole time.

We’ve got a girl trip to the US planned for a few weeks.  I have to start getting all my stuff together.  I’ve got a few things I promised to take here and there that I have to locate and start piling up, otherwise I am planning on going over more or less ’empty’, I have a feeling I am going to leave with MissL clothed for a good year again, among other goodies.

We are also still hemming and hawing about our add on possibilities.  It would be nice to do that before starting the nounou business if I wanted to go that route.  MissL’s room is currently off of my office, her room could become the nap room, the office could become a playroom…  We could add on a big kitchen/dining room, with two bedrooms upstairs (yay for us all being on the same floor!), and we’d still have our old kitchen downstairs as a boudoir/guest room.  That said, we are talking about a TON of work.  I think we have about 70% of the cash needed, but we really don’t want to take out another loan to do any work.  So, who knows.  The interim solution is to move the office out to the workshop, and have that be a play/nap room.  That would also mean that the workshop would be redone (though likely a cheap-ish job – insulation, tile flooring, and a wee tiny wood burning stove, a new door and one window would do the job, most of which we could do ourselves).  I think that this may be the best solution.  It would also mean that if we do the house work, the office could stay outside and away, nice for when MrB has to work at home if I am wrastling kiddos all day.  And if we decide to move and NOT do the work, it is an additional room for buyers.  It’d work well for a profession liberale.

If you got through all that, thanks, not that exciting really, just lots of thoughts about this and that!  A few photos as a ‘thank you’!

All smiles! This girl is my sunshine.

On the go!!

9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 21, 2011 5:04 pm

    I wish I could find an English speaking nounou! If you’re up for the challenge I think it’s a good idea.. sure you don’t want to come to Lille?? 🙂

    • ashleyenfrance permalink*
      February 21, 2011 5:21 pm

      I would move to Lille! Actually there is a possibility of us moving who-knows-where at some point due to my husbands job. Lille is supposed to be a cool town, I’d go in a heartbeat, but I’m not difficile, I think I’d be ok to move pretty much anywhere… 😉 And, if I lived in Lille, I’d totally watch your little Victor… He looks like a real cutie!

  2. February 21, 2011 7:28 pm

    oh! We didnt even talk about that possibility when I saw you the other day…it would be so much better than teaching 😉 You should definitely look into it, and I’m sure you speaking English would be a huge atout!

    Totally jealous you have a garden and plants to tend to…I wish I could say the same for me! But I might jazz up my balcony a bit this summer with some potted plants and flowers.

    Good luck with the trip prep! You must be so excited 🙂

    • ashleyenfrance permalink*
      February 21, 2011 7:50 pm

      I am so excited about my trip… Making a big old list of what to bring back! With a lap infant the AF lady told me I get an extra 10 kilos of luggage!!

      And, if you ever want to come pull weeds (;)), or pick cherries, or apples, let me know! Pinch could come too and bark his little head off in the back yard. He dosen’t really like other dogs though, non? Even little Bandit? My yard is 100% fenced he could race around with Bandit, they must be about the right size….

      I am thinking the nounou thing might be the way to go. I’ll keep you all updated when I actually make a choice!!

  3. Milam permalink
    February 22, 2011 1:05 pm

    I just saw a thing about an Australian lady doing that in Paris and she charged 7% more than regular nounous. Also, the CAF may be able to give you some aid to refurbish your house in preparation for being an “assistante maternelle”. It’s something I’ve thought about, too, but we’re just renting our place. I say, go for it. You may even be able to join a “crèche familiale” where you’re part of a group of nounous who welcome kids in their home. you get to interact with other folks in the week that way and have little outings to the creche center. Good luck and keep us posted.

    • ashleyenfrance permalink*
      February 23, 2011 1:26 pm

      A French friend of mine saw that same thing, and called me to tell me about it! Out here, I am not sure if I could charge that much more, but I hope speaking English would help me to get some clients. I’ve got to look into the creche familiale, I remember a girl I worked with had her daughter at one. We still have to figure out the technicalities, but I think it may be a good solution. I’ll make some money, get to drop off and pick up my own kid at school, do a (kind of) teaching thing, and not have to worry about finding care for my own child. That is really interesting about the aid. I think we are about 75% to the point we need to be at to do a lot of work on our house, that could get us a little closer, or at least close enough that a bank would lend us the last little bit…

      I’ll keep you all posted on how it goes! Thanks for the comment!

  4. Milam permalink
    February 24, 2011 11:28 am
    Here’s the link to the story on TF1.

    • ashleyenfrance permalink*
      February 24, 2011 6:32 pm

      Thanks for finding that for me! I am going to show that to my husband when he gets home…!!

      We’re trying to figure out how to make it work. I have been reading up a ton online, given the size of our house, I think I could watch one kiddo with our current situation (since we have one of our own who is under 3). I am going to try to figure out the funding for what we would need to add on to our house. Just so we’d all have some more space, and to avoid needing to take a break to do the work!

  5. March 7, 2011 10:10 pm

    MissL is getting so big! What a smile — she is so precious. I love seeing her out and about walking on her own! Are her eyes starting to change to brown?

    I think you would be a great nounou! Your add on plans/ideas are so exciting. And just think — if you start with the kids when they’re small, you can tutor them in English once they’re older and in school. You’d have a corner on the market because they’d get attached to you as toddlers. 😉

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