Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween!

Après avoir défilé en costumes à leur groupe de jeu ce matin, les enfants se sont de nouveau déguisés pour fêter l'Halloween avec Max (Lebeau) et sa famille.
Le principe est simple : on se déguise, puis on va de porte en porte dans son voisinage et on crie : " C'est l'Halloween, on veut des bonbons!" et on récolte des friandises...C'étati mignon avec les petits!

Of course! Guillaume was Woody from Disney's "Toy story" He was very proud to be a cowboy like his uncle Benjamin!








Estelle felt quite at home as a princess...and always loves the attention of the camera!













Visa K3 pour les Etats-Unis

Cela fait maintenant plus d'un an que nous attendons pour une "carte verte" pour pouvoir résider aux Etats-Unis, et un peu plus de 7 mois que nous avons appliqué pour un visa K3 qui me permettrai de rester indéfiniement...en attendant mon statut de résidente permanente. Certains pensent que c'est facile de venir ici parce que j'ai épousé un américain- et c'est vrai que c'est beaucoup plus rapide... mais quand même!
Lorsque nous avons déménagé ici pour que David poursuive ses études, je suis rentrée en tant que touriste...et donc ne peux rester plus de 3 mois à la fois! Etant donné que je suis maintenant enceinte...cela complique un peu les choses- puisque je ne tiens pas à traverser la frontière avec une grosse bedaine!
Après avoir reçu la date pour mon entretien avec juste 2 jours d'avance, je suis rentrée au Canada, ai passé mon entrevue et ai commencé mon attente. C'est un peu stressant de donner son passeport à une lourde administration sans avoir de date ferme à laquelle ils vont me le rendre!
Heureusement, le passeport est arrivé aujourd'hui et j'ai un visa dedans! J'ai hate de revoir David! C'est pas que je n'aime pas passer du temps en famille...c'est que j'ai aussi maintenant la mienne en route!

I got the visa!

well, not much to say about the interview itself. It was a 4.5 hour process at the end of which they took my Canadian passport away from me and told me it would be a couple of days processing before it was mailed back to me at my Canadian address...Sounds pretty routine, but after spending 1 whole week in Montreal with Emilie and Sergio and then another whole week with Rebecca and her family...I started wondering if they were really going to be sending it back.
The hardest part was not knowing! I tried calling the consulate but they were not very cooperative or helpful with me because they always started out by asking if I am an American citizen...and I am not! It was nice to visit with family, but so hard being away from David- and honestly no really having a purpose makes it harder. Don't get me wrong, I love being with my family...My belly has started showing - I am still nauseous enough to throw up a couple times a day...Anyways, I guess God knows the limits to my patience...and my faith. I had given myself today as the deadline I would have for myself to change my ticket to go back to North Carolina, and the visa came in the mail this morning!
I am so relieved and grateful for it! This means that I can stay in the USA indefinitely - though I still cannot work nor study...

Encore

Juste quelques autres photos...
Guillaume préfère prendre les photos que de poser...et quand s'est mon tour d'être prise, Estelle est toujours la première à suggérer que je prenne son bébé- accessoir indispensable!





Friday night date...eating pizza and watchin "Around the world in 80 days"

ON voit tout plein de choses pendant nos promenades- mêmes des gros tracteurs!

Guillaume s'endort toujours le premier et Estelle le rejoint...elle m'a dit qu'il y a des monstres dans son armoire et qu'elle n'aime pas dormir dans son lit juste à côté




Potty training Estelle is really fun! She spends a lot of time helping her babies with it too- so far none have been flushed away by mistake!
Estelle va maintenant aux toilettes...des fois plus qu'elle n'en a vraiment besoin!





Sébastien Couture

Il est beau mon neveu, non? As fun as it was to be around a brnad new ( 7 weeks) baby... Seeing how tired Rebecca was in the mornings was a reality check for me: I am going to be a mom soon!

Ils est très aimé de son frère et de sa soeur...Estelle porte toujours un de ses bébés avec elle depuis que Sébastien est arrivé...
Ce sera mon tour d'être maman bientôt... c'est difficile pour moi de le réaliser parfois!












La famille Couture

After a week in Montréal, I went "home" to my official address in Canada - I moved into the Couture's spare bedroom and got to spend time with them!
Quelle chance de pouvoir passer du temps avec Estelle et Guillaume! Comme les photos le montrent, on voit bien leurs personnalités : Estelle est casse-cou et Guillaume plus réservé- mais ils s'adorent et aiment beaucoup jouer ensemble!
I felt so lucky to be there at such a fun time...We took walks nearly everyday in the neighborhood to look at Halloween decorations and play at the park...



Guillaume really enjoys walking and is quite the trooper. Estelle is more the princess and likes to be taken care of and pushed around in the stroller...It's sometimes hard not being the baby any more!

A la promenade quotidienne dans le quartier "Cote d'Azur" ou Rebecca et Yohann habitent...les couleurs de l'automne et les décorations d'Halloween dans les jardins valent le détour!







Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Montréal

C'est une ville tellement belle et agréable en automne! I know that David and I have been blessed with great friends ...and coming back to Montréal just confirmed that!

Amy Appleton-Venu in her little "Café maman". If you ever get a chance, you should check it out! I am sad i won't be in Montréal with our baby to take some salsa classes!



Merci Annie d'avoir pris du temps avec moi! Tu es tellement belle! Annie is getting married in May-- just when I have my baby, so I won't be able to be there :(

Chez Emilie

Bon, ok, je devrai dire "chez Emilie et Sergio"...mais comme Sergio n'était là que pendant le week-end - j'avais un peu le sentiment surréaliste que j'étais chez moi à Montréal (comme au bon vieux temps!) et que je vivais toujours avec Emilie!
Thank you so much for having me and taking such good care of me! Apart from my pregnancy sickness, it really seemed like I never left and I sometimes even wondered if this last year and a half with David were really real...

I got to see Emilie's job as a receptionnist,


Her everyday life- thank you again for cooking!


and even took her out for a piece of birthday cake!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Immigration Situation

Pray for Sarah on Friday! We received word on Wednesday night that she had been invited for a visa interview in Montreal this Friday. She was planning on going back to Canada next week, so it's not a huge deal that this letter came this week, in fact it's pretty good timing. Except they only gave us 2 days notice!!! Can you believe it? We have had an unbelievable adventure with the immigration process over the last 18 months (regardless of the outcome on Friday, the adventure is far from over), but this is the most unbelievable thing so far. The letter was actually dated and mailed on Friday the 12th, arriving in Gatineau on Tue the 16th. We got word of the appointment around 6pm, went to a previously scheduled dinner at a friend's house in which I studied with a couple friends for Wednesday morning's exam.

By 8pm we had switched Sarah's flight information so she would be leaving the next day and cancelled our hotel reservation in Wilmington for Thu night (we were going to spend Friday at the beach). A friend came over around 9:45 and we gave Sarah a blessing that her body and mind would be at ease and that she'd make it through this stressful experience well, having learned a lot and ending up grateful for it.

I started going through all our application information, going through the pre-interview instructions, scanning dozens of pages of stuff into my computer for our records, double checking everything. Of course I found a couple mistakes, and had to update a couple forms. I needed to start from scratch on another form relating to my financial situation, and since I wasn't going to be there in person I had to have it notarized. Since Sarah was leaving before any notary opened, and it was too late to get to one, I would have to UPS it to her Wednesday morning to arrive on Thursday for her interview on Friday. In other words, if the mail had been one day slower, we wouldn't have been able to get this document done correctly!

Sarah did a couple loads of laundry, I ran out to the bank (the interview fee is $100 in US cash) and drove around to make sure I could find the UPS store and the notary in the morning, as well as filling up the car with gas. By the time we finished all that and went to bed it was 3:30am. Sarah woke up around 6:15, I woke up at 6:45. We left for the airport at 7:25, and I said my goodbye as she went through security around 8am. It's hard to explain why I felt so emotional, I feel confident everything will go well, but I cried while driving back to Chapel Hill.

I drove straight to the UPS store where they notarized the document and sent it on its way. I got home, changed shirts (no time for a shower), barely caught the bus and made it to school on time for my exam. It went ok, though I'm glad it's only worth 10% of that grade and that I'm generally doing well in that class. I had two other classes that day which were very relaxed because it's the start of my 4 day weekend fall break.

Sarah had a pretty insane day of flying. Most flights would have cost almost $700, though she found a way to go for $350 by making two stops. It meant that she would fly south to Orlando, Florida, then up to Newark, NJ before arriving in Montreal at 6:37pm. Well, our motto is that if something can happen, it will, so of course there was a lot of fog in Newark and they closed the airport for a bit. She was able to find a way through Cleveland, which worked out fine, except she didn't end up landing until 9:15pm, 13 hours after I had said goodbye to her. Have I mentioned that she's pregnant and has been throwing up at least once a day? Thankfully, she didn't throw up once all day! Unfortunatley however, she has already thrown up today's (thursday's) breakfast. Hopefully she'll feel well during the actual interview tomorrow. The other good news is that the UPS I sent her arrived this morning despite mechanical problems with the plane in Kentucky, and that the parcel Yohann sent (the original interview appointment letter) arrived in Montreal safely as well.

As far as we can tell we've done everything we are supposed to do and she should be approved to receive this visa. Of course, this is just a K3 visa, meaning she can work or study yet, but she can live in the States legally while she wait for her greencard application to be approved. She's nervous but will surely do well. Like I said, please pray for her.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Immigration Update


As you probably heard, we received 2 days notice for Sarah to get to Montreal for her K3 visa interview which took place Friday morning Oct 19. Everything went really well and they said she had all her papers in order, though she doesn't recall them actually saying the words "it's approved." The way it works is they took her passport and said they would do some processing, put the visa in the passport and then mail it to her canadian address (Rebecca's address in Gatineau, near where we just moved from). They said the processing would take two days, and the shipping would take about a week. Since Gatineau is only a two hour drive from Montreal, we were hoping it would come sooner. So you can imagine how nervous we were getting as the days passed by without any word. It's already been two weeks since she left NC and we hadn't heard anything. Until this morning that is! The visa arrived in the mail this morning, and Sarah wrote me around 10:45 with the good news. We chatted online during most of my 11 o'clock class (I had my laptop with me) and I'm so excited she'll be coming home soon! She already had a ticket to fly back on the 8th, and it would cost $500 to move the date up, so we're just going to leave it and wait. Though it will have been three full weeks since she left, the last week won't be as hard because we'll have a firm end date in mind. The hardest part about the last week or so has been the fear that it wouldn't come, or that there was a problem and she would have stay longer, or even the remote possibility that it wouldn't be approved. We can put all those fears to rest now. The conditions of her visa are that once she enters the US, she can't leave or the visa is void. However, if a family tragedy occurs and she wants to go to France or Canada, she can request permission to leave and come back without losing her status. This is a huge relief and diminishes the feeling that she's trapped here away from her sisters and parents. The other conditions are that she still can't work or study. The only thing it allows her to do is live in the states indefinetly until she has the interview for a greencard, without having to leave the country every 3 months like she would with visitor status. That's the latest, thanks to everyone for your support!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Enceinte!


Around 9pm on Saturday Sept 1st I convinced Sarah to go buy a pregnancy test. We had been feeling ready to have a baby and thought maybe July was the month. Turned out not to be, so even when she was a couple days late from her otherwise regular cycle, she didn't want to jinx us by buying the test too soon. Finally, after playing with Delia, Milo and Eloise (neighbor kids upstairs), she was ready to buy a test and so we went out looking for a drug store that was still open (we don't live in Manhattan, that's for sure!). We got the test, came home and I read all I could about how it worked before she peed on the strip. I have a video of that moment too, but that's for posterity, not the internet, sorry! The horizontal line would show up regardless of the result, the issue at hand is whether you get a vertical line. If you are pregnant, the vertical line would show up in 2-3 minutes. If you've been pregnant for a little longer and hormone levels are higher, then the plus might come sooner. In our case, we saw the line the second she peed on the strip! She was really pregnant. As you can see from the video on the next post, we were still not ready to jump up and down with excitement, just in case we jinxed it. So there it is, the story of how we found out we are having a baby.


We took this picture of ourselves moments after finding out and moments before praying to Heavenly Father to give thanks and ask for lots of help.

We're Pregnant!

video

Here is the moment we find out we're going to have a baby. If we sound more confused than excited, it's because we wanted to be sure we were interpreting the results of the home pregnancy test correctly. That was around Sept 1st when she was already 3-4 days late. Now it's October 6th, in week 10, and it's finally starting to sink in.