Posts Tagged ‘family’
She’s 19 months as I write this but we had a doctor’s appointment just in time for her 18th month birthday so here’s her stats:
12.1 kg (~26.7 lbs.)
87.1 cms (34.3 inches)
I’ve officially been in Europe too long – I know my the family’s weights in kilograms, the weather in Celsius, and all children’s clothing is based on height in centimeters, so I know these too.
Spring/summer finally sprang into being in March and April was so beautiful overall. A complete 180 degree change from February which was non-stop gray. Little A loves to play in the backyard with her tricycle, on the swing, and with whatever else catches her fancy… rocks, her watering can, frisbee, balls. She points out every airplane or helicopter that flies overhead. First she hears it, then she looks, then she shows me or D.
So lately we spend most afternoons outside, and most weeknights too, when we get back from the day mother’s. Our apartment has quite a few children and I often invite them into our part of the yard to do the activity du jour. Today it was finger paint. One boy who is almost 3 came over and I was trying very hard to keep his fingers off his pants…
Little A still loves tomatoes and most other vegetables. She also like chicken (preferably dark meat if given the option), and lasagna, and ketchup. For dessert she likes strawberries and raspberries and yogurt. And she rarely says no to at least a bite of something chocolatey.
She talks in her own little language, and says about 5 intelligible words consistently. The bottle of milk she gets in the morning and at night is called “Bah”. She generally likes going to bed for naps and at night – she’s tired, we can completely understand and appreciate this.
So, what has happened since err, umm.. November? First place to look is at my photos folder, which, at the moment is in a terrible disarray. Sigh..
[… Scanning thumbnails … ] Right, Christmas, let’s start there. The holidays were fun, despite this being the second year that we stay in Europe for Christmas. It’s the hardest time of year to be expats, away from family and friends we love and miss. But hey, we had some crazy snow.
Me and Little A in the backyard.
Big D and Little A, my darlings:
At one point D tried to use electrical wire to pull her “sled” but this was slightly disastrous. We just pushed/pulled instead. Okay, fine, D pushed, I took pictures…
This is the first year that we bought a Christmas tree (and a mini tree and a wreath and ornaments and lights).
Little A visited Santa, at our gym, but sadly, there was no cardboard tree.
Christmas morning, with new boots from Grandma, and new toys.
It gave our spirits a boost when D’s parents came just after Christmas. They caught a cold on the plane (of course), and it made it’s way around to all of us during the following week, yuck!
So we stayed in… took naps, visited, cooked. Little A loved the attention, and the time with two of her important people. She was saying Grand-maman, though it sounded more like “Grah-MAMA!”
This photo says it all:
So I starting thinking about gifts early… like a month ago.. but did I buy anything? Not so much… And now I’m officially competing with all the crazies since it’s after Thanksgiving.
Luckily, I’m doing most of my shopping online. And I’ve spent some “mental time” on the process… that has to give me at least a partial leg up on the task.. Right?
PEKiP, otherwise known as “the naked baby playgroup”.
During one of Chicken Little’s first play dates, one of the mothers said she had enrolled her baby in a PEKiP class. Where in her words, the babies all get together naked on the floor and “go wild”. I must admit, my first reaction was in the range of “what?! why?!” I mean, they invented diapers for obvious and tidy reasons. I really like hanging out with this mom, but she fits more the “free spirit” parenting style category, whereas D and I are still solidly “by the book”.
But then we were finishing up our physical therapy sessions and the doctor said PEKiP would be good for little A. Even though she’s now advanced for her age, the doctor said “it’s good for her to see what the older babies do.” Two endorsements for PEKiP in less than 2 weeks, and one by a medical professional. Hmmm… Let’s try it.
We arrived with some trepidation (on my side) on Monday morning. I paid for the class and left the stroller at the door. Upstairs, the room was set up very similar to any childcare room. Exercise mats covering the whole floor, toys piled in one corner. There was a large plastic mat in the center of the room and some space heaters in the corner making the room quite warm. After we worked out that yes, I was the English speaker with the bad German, and said hello to everyone, we waited another 5 minutes and then the class began.
First off we get the babies naked and then each was given a beach ball to stand/lay over, stomach to the ball, and facing each other in a circle. The instructor said this was so the babies could see and touch each other as they wanted, and at a distance they felt comfortable. I’m not convinced babies this age really have the proper body-to-ball coordination, but okay. At this point I find out that the instructor has her own “baby”, a doll, that joins in on the activities too. Then we sing a song that goes “Guten Tag, something something, Guten Tag” and roll call’s all the mamas and babies in the room (oh yes, the doll has a name too).
Next up, the babies move over to a set of hexagonal-shaped platformed cushions, made of soft (waterproof) material and at varying heights. Perfect for climbing. The babies love this. I was happy that baby A got right in there. And then the instructor brought out two shallow tubs of plastic balls. Another hit.
Towards the end we put on diapers and held the babies in our arms to dip and sway for a song. Then we listened to other music on the floor and played with sheer, colorful scarves, while re-dressing the little ones.
I think 4 out of the 6 peed on the floor at some point during the 90 minute session. You wipe it up with your own towel, and then wash the area with some soap and water they provide. It wasn’t as bad as I imagined. All those baby cheeks were cute but I didn’t want to offend anyone by whipping out my camera, especially one our first day.
This class could be done fully clothed. So why naked? From what I have read, it is for better motor development and a more sensory experience. And just as valid a question, why not naked? Once you have everything waterproofed, a bunch of naked babies playing together sounds like fun (and it is).
More information about PEKiP can be found here.
My mother visited with us last month. (Of course) we enjoyed it. It was her first trip across the Atlantic and she was excited to see everything, including her first grandbaby. We picked her up in Frankfurt and then spent the week at home and visiting the local sights. We did the Cologne cathedral, shopping in Aachen, visited the castle here, and drove to The Netherlands to walk around Maastricht.
My birthday fell in the same week she came to visit, on purpose! and it was definitely a day I will remember. After a cold afternoon visiting the cathedral in Cologne (and the souvenir shop where my mother had a field day), we arrived back home to have some small birthday celebrations. D and baby A came down the stairs after dinner with what appeared to be my gift, a diaper pail with a red bow on top. Wrapped in a few unused diapers was this:
D downplaying our need for one was all part of the master plan! I love it! I also got a few nice gifts from my sisters, which were sent along via mom.
After my mother left we got into a good little routine: gymnastics class, baby massage, swim class each week which was good until baby A got her first infection, which was still on-going this week. We had 2+ years of just about zero doctor appointments and now it feels like I’m going to one once a week. Maybe next week the routine can begin again.
Our Valentine’s Day was cozy. We went to the gym. There were flowers (the photos are still on the camera). It snowed. We enjoyed a special dinner/movie night at home after the baby was in bed.
A joint effort was put forth to finish a school project my cousin’s daughter sent us. We took “Flat Stanley” around a few places and wrote about his adventure in Germany.
Our beauty is in her 5th month now. She is working on crawling, and every time I look down at her on her play-mat, she is in a different position/location. Just this week we are able to feel her two bottom teeth have pushed through her gums – they should be visible any day now!
THIS Friday. Yay!!
For the past couple of years, by the time the 21st of December rolled around we had already visited at least one family a little bit. Had already endured at least two full, fully cramped airplane rides and survived the customs lines in Atlanta (most often) or Chicago (once or twice).
The Christmas party for my side of the family for this year was on Saturday, and we joined them for a few minutes via webcam so that my grandmother and aunts and uncles could see the newest family member. Luckily the party started at 2 p.m. (8 p.m. here) so we had a small window before her bedtime.
While it is hard not being in town this year, I rather liked our weekend here. Along with everyone else in the world (it seems), I baked. It snowed enough to stay on the ground:
It got really frigid here (-10 C), but we braved the cold and filled up the refrigerator. We played on the floor and read books. All three of us took naps.
We dealt with some last minute gift drama. There were lots of kisses. Then it snowed some more:
Some deep cleaning was done in the bathroom. Oh and we had an excellent dinner last night, and excellent wine too. So nothing particularly special made this weekend special. I’m hoping for more of the same for the coming week!
I have to add, since it just popped in my brain, 3 month-olds are really fun. And for me, well, I’m starting to feel more adjusted to this new routine. As we folded a bunch of clothes this weekend, newborn clothes that this baby won’t ever wear again, it hit me how fast this time is going and to really appreciate it.
Best wishes for everyone this week!
New Year’s in Paris.
That is the latest plan for the holidays, and maybe the 4 or 5th iteration of this year’s Christmas agenda. We don’t have all the details yet; D and his mother are working on this. As far as I know, the tickets are bought but the hotel/apartment is not yet secured. Our parents are very anxious to see their first grandbaby, thus all the last minute changes and drastic measures.
We picked Paris because of the non-stop flights there from Quebec, and well, it’s a nice place to visit. And it’s only a 4 hour drive for us. We’ll mostly be skipping the Parisian restaurants this year, so we need to get a place with a kitchen so we can cook and eat together.
As such, I’ve been trying to get baby A to enjoy walking around with me in the Ergo baby carrier, in hopes we can use it for this trip. Up to recently she wasn’t having it AT all, but she’s a better size for it now, and is tolerating it more and more.
It’s not as good as being back to see everyone but we are excited!