Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Happy 2 months old!

Today Laetitia is two months old! And boy oh boy is she growing fast. At her last doctor's appointment almost 2 weeks ago, she was measuring the size of a three month old baby. See this post for specs for her measurements.

At two months, these are the things she can do:-
1) Smile in response to my smile
2) Shouts or say "ah... goo.... maa..." etc
3) lift head 45 degrees when on tummy
4) hold head steady for a couple of seconds when upright
5) Gasp a rattle
6) Reach for an object
7) Laugh out loud
8) Follow an object and move head one side to the other (180 degrees)
9) Bring both hands together (see picture below)

Well, at two months, she has also been struck with her first aliment.... the common cold, passed to her by her lovely parents. It is so tough seeing my little darling struggle to breathe when her nose is blocked. She has also been sneezing and coughing a little. I hope she recovers soon. She has been a tropper though, just trying her best to breathe properly and only crying a little when it gets too bothersome for her.

Here's some pictures for the fun of it!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Laetitia's first voyage to Anne and Nico's wedding

Laetitia took her first little trip 2 days ago. We went to Toulouse for Anne and Nico's wedding.

On Friday morning, I woke up especially early to make sure that we've got everything prepared for the train journey. This includes nursing my little darling, making some sandwiches, checking that the diaper bag has all the essentials etc. I was calm considering that this is the first time we are travelling with a little baby. We put Laetitia into her car seat, attached it to the stroller and were ready to roll!

Everything progressed smoothly. We arrived slightly early at Montparnasse train station and I had time to go get some pastry and a drink for the ride. We quickly found our seats and settled in. Laetitia had a seat of her own as we had bought her a Carte Enfant+ which entitles her to a seat everytime she travels on SNCF trains. Well worth the 60 euros we paid as I soon discovered how convenient it was to have a seat for her. Here's her being all happy and contented in the train.

She was well-behaved during the 6 hrs plus journey. She did fuss a little on and off but which two month old baby won't? When she would cry a little, either one of us would carry her and walk around a bit to help calm her down. All in all, it was rather enjoyable. Finally we arrived in Toulouse where maman and papa were waiting for us. They were very happy to see Laetitia and us. Papa drove to the hotel in Colomier (a town slightly outside of Toulouse) where my darling could finally stretch her arms and legs. She loves it. I don't think she enjoyed being confined in the car seat too much. We relaxed for a while in the room before bringing Laetitia over to Papa and Maman's room.

The next day, we got up early as the wedding ceremony starts at about 10.30am in the Mairie. Laetitia had on a pretty Jean Bourget green dress and cute little Robeez shoes. She looked so chic.

The wedding was beautiful. After the civil ceremony in the Mairie, we went to the church for the service. It was a very pretty little church and the reception was held at the back of the church where there was a huge garden/open space. I did not take any pictures of the afternoon with my camera so we will have to wait for either Emmanuelle, my sister-in-law, or my parents-in-law to send me the photos they took. Once I have the photos, I will blog Part2 of the trip.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Alone with Laetitia.

My mummy left Paris to go back to Singapore last Friday. Over the weekend, Etienne was around to help me with Laetitia but yesterday and today, I was left to my own devices. It has been a very different experience! Right now, I appreciate even more the help that my mum has given us over the last 8 weeks.

Yesterday was really tough for me. There was so much to do aside from feeding, changing, bathing and entertaining my little princess as on top of it all, she had three explosive poos that overflowed. The first was in the morning when she woke up. As I carried her to be nursed, I realised that her clothes were wet and her bed was stained with pee and poo. So I had to change her, nurse her and then proceed to change the sheets on the cot. After that, I had to pre-treat her clothes to remove the poo before putting them into the washing machine. The second time was milder and I only had to wash her bum and back under running water and then change her. However, after washing her, she pooed more on the nappy which I then had to wash and soak manually. The third time was another messy situation where I had to wash and change her again. And this time, her pants, bodies and even the change mat was stained with poo. So I had to scrub and soak those clothes. By the time I was done with the third massive poo session, I was exhausted!

And of course I was also trying to make sure that I get dinner ready for when Etienne comes home. It was definitely not an easy day.

Today is MUCH better! For one, Laetitia slept well overnight so that means that I am well rested too. She slept from 10pm to about 5am for a feed and then until 9.30am. After a good night of sleep, I was ready to tackle the day. On top of that, she did not have overflowing diapers today. So, everything went nicely, we even manage to go out for a couple of hours. We went to check out the halte garderie (infant care) where I intend to place her for a couple of afternoons a week to give myself some space and time to do my own stuff. We also went to Opera to meet her daddy. Etienne has bible study tonight and by the time he comes home, his little girl will be sleeping so I thought it would be nice for him to see her a little in the day. After that, we came home.

My little chouchou has also been spending some time on the Tiny Love gymini these last couple of days. She is starting to get the hang of playing with the toys. Previously, she would cry after being put on it for 5 to 10 mins. Now she could happily stay on the gymini for about 15 mins. Today she attempted to touch the giraffe and she was staring at herself in the mirror too. Here some pictures of her playing on the gymini.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Trying to suck her fist?

Laetitia has been trying to learn to suck her finger(s) for the last couple of days. It should be good if it means that she could self- soothe. Of course hopefully when she does succeed at finding the right finger to suck, she will only use it at sleep time and not 24/7.

It is actually very funny watching her make her attempts. Right now, she stuffs her hand instead of just a finger or two fingers or the thumb into her mouth. I think she is not used to opening her hands and just putting her finger/fingers/thumb into her mouth so she usually end up looking like she is sticking her fist into her mouth.

Take a look at how funny it seems....

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

My courageous girl.

Today my little baby got her first vaccination shot, the BCG. I was given a patch to be used on Laetitia 1 hour before the doctor's appointment. The patch is supposed to reduce the pain she will feel from the injection. It is basically a local anesthetics cream. It was also interesting that we had to buy our own vaccination from the pharmacy, though prescribed by the pediatrician beforehand. Well, things work differently in this country.

At 2pm, I applied the patch onto Laetitia's underarm area since the appointment was at 3pm. I decided to feed her before we leave the house as I remember reading somewhere that babies that has been fed before taking a jab feel less pain. Not too sure where I read it from or maybe I just made it up. I do know that it is encouraged to nurse babies after the injection to soothe and comfort them. Well, we made our way to the pediatrician’s office and waited some time before seeing her. I must say my baby girl is very courageous when she was given the vaccination. She cried for a brief moment of about 2 seconds! I am so proud of her. I know I say that all the time but I am really very proud of my daughter.

During the appointment, she was also checked, weighed and measured by the doctor. I saw the look of surprise on Dr. DiMascio's face when she measured Laetitia's length. She has grown 4cm since the last appointment 3 weeks ago. That is quite a lot! She measures the same as an average 3 months old and she is not even 2 months old yet!

Here are the specs of her growth:-
Weight = 4.850kg (3 weeks ago was 4.100kg and birth was 3.480kg)
Length = 60cm (3 weeks ago was 56cm and birth was 51cm)
Head circumference = 39cm (3 weeks ago was 37.5cm and birth was 34.5cm)

I think my baby will grow up to be tall like her daddy.

Here's some photos from today.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Dedication of Laetitia to the Lord

As mentioned after last Sunday's post, we have decided to have a dedication ceremony for Laetitia in church. We want to dedicate our daughter to the Lord. We, Etienne and myself, pledge to raise her up in God's ways, to set ourselves as Christian examples for her and to release her into God's service if she is called to serve the Lord in ministry.

Laetitia is God's blessings to us and we have been trusting the Lord to love and protect her. To dedicate her to the Lord is but a natural step that we as parent want to take to commit to Jesus that we will bring Laetitia up to love and to honour Him. I believe one of the greatest gift we as parents can give to her is to bring into her awareness God's great love for her and for her to make her choice to be a child of God.

Us being asked if we would pledge to bring Laetitia up in God's way.

Laetitia being prayed over by Pastor John, Rebecca and the congregation.

The happy family after the ceremony.

Mother's Day Celebration.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day for certain countries like Singapore, Australia, US, Canada etc and since my mum is here, we decided to celebrate it with her. The French celebrates Mother's Day on 28 May this year. I guess I will get to have two Mother's Day and therefore two presents! We choose to celebrate it a day earlier as there's church tomorrow and it might just be too much activities in a day for Laetitia if we were to make the trip to church and then go out again for dinner on the same day.

We took mum to one of the big Chinese restaurant in Belleville called
Le Président. This is one of the restaurant we know of that serves Peking duck. We wanted it to be a little treat for mummy and since she likes chinese food, we thought this would be a good choice. We offered to take her to try other cuisines but she said she preferred Chinese food. So Chinese it is!

We ordered half a Peking duck, a seafood dish (scallops and prawns) and mango chicken. Mum thought it was very interesting that they pair mango with chicken. While waiting for the food, we took a couple of pictures for remembrance sake.

Three generations... Mummy, me and baby

The Lastennets

After dinner, we took the metro home and gave mummy her presents. We got her two presents, one was a photo album filled with Laetitia's photos which we got developed at a photo shop and another was a little vibrating massage cushion. Mum loves the presents and was especially happy with the photo album. I'm glad to be able to spend my first Mother's Day as a mother with my mum. Now that I am a mother myself, I have a deeper sense of appreciation for my mum and her sacrificing love for me. I love you mummy.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Baby massage class

Yesterday we went for a baby massage class called "Toucher, Porter et Masser", meaning Touch, Carry and Massage. The class is held in a place called "L'ecole des Parents" which translate to School for Parents. It is a very interesting place with lots of different types of classes for babies and parents or toddlers and parents to attend together. For the baby massage class, it is spread over two Wednesdays, this week and next week.

There are 4 babies altogether in the class. Age ranging from 6 weeks (Laetitia) to about 4 months. It was nice to be with other parents and share information about how the babies are developing. We were taught how to massage our babies and helping them in their muscles development.

About an hour into the class, one of the babies, Clara, started crying. Her mum explained that it was her nap time and she was getting grouchy from the lack of sleep. A couple of minutes after Clara started crying, a second baby started crying and then the third baby started wailing too. all the other babies, except for Laetitia, were crying. My little girl was just lying on her mat enjoying the massage her mummy was giving her. The other mothers were commenting later as some of the other babies quieten down that Laetitia is a very calm baby. And I totally agree with them. My little girl is a very pleasant baby. Of course she does cry and fusses but it's usually for very valid reasons, e.g. she is hungry or uncomfortable or bored. However, she is rather easy to calm too. Clara cried on and off fo a very long time and it did evetually got to Laetitia and she started crying too. However, I did manage to stop her from crying for any prolong time (that means she did not cry at any time for more than a couple of minutes).

In the end, the class had to be shortened slightly as the instructor was unable to find a moment where all four babies were ready to continue. We did learn how to massage our babies legs, hands, arms and tummy though. Next week we will continue with the face and backs. I am definitely looking forward to the next class.

Today, I practiced massaging my darling just before giving her night feed and putting her to bed. I think she enjoyed it and it helped her fall asleep more easily.

Monday, May 8, 2006

We are family!

I realised that there are not many pictures of Etienne, Laetitia and I together. In fact, there was not many pictures of me and my darling baby or Etienne and Laetitia. It was always photos after photos of my baby girl all by herself. Well, today we managed to take a few pictures of the three of us. I also took some photos of Etienne and his precious little girl.

Since these photos are so precious and limited, I have to share them! In the family picture, my little angel looks like she is ready to punch someone! Hahaha! Both the parents look so happy. The fact is, we are VERY happy. *grin*

And here are the very valuable moments captured of Etienne and his princess. This long weekend (Monday is a bank holiday in France), Etienne managed to spend some quality time alone with his daughter as I took advantage of him being home to catch up on some sleep. He took care of Laetitia for the couple of hours that I was resting and as far as I understand, he totally enjoyed those moments. He's a fabulous daddy.

Sunday, May 7, 2006

First time in church.

We have been waiting to go to church together as a family and it finally happened today. There was a lot in terms of logistics to consider in making the trip to church as our church is not located very close to us nor the metro station. It is about 10-15 mins walk away (depending on one's speed). Since there are 4 of us, Mummy, Etienne, Laetitia and I, we decided to take the cab there and back. As we were taking the cab, we had to take the car seat with us. Then there is the consideration of whether to bring the stroller along. Etienne had initially thought that the stroller would be a good idea but I felt that bringing the Baby Bjorn carrier is more practical. Eventually we took the car seat and the carrier.

Everyone in church was very welcoming towards us. Laetitia received lots of compliments. Pastor John even welcomed Laetitia as the newest member of Elim Church during the announcements time. My baby girl was very well-behaved in church, falling asleep during the praise and worship time. I think she loves praising and worshiping our Lord. Just before the sermon started, she got a little fussy as it was a tad too warm in the room for her. I took her out to the kitchen where it was cooler and she immediately calmed down. Eventually it was also time to breastfeed her. After feeding her, I tried to bring her back into the hall a couple of times but was unsuccessful. I missed most of the sermon since I spent majority of our time outside in the kitchen with her. However, I did manged to fellowship with one of our church members in the kitchen as she was preparing food for after the service.

It was great taking her to church and spending time in church as a family. We are also thinking of doing a Dedication for Laetitia in church. It is an act where us, the parents dedicate our child to the Lord. Etienne will talk to Pastor John about it on Tuesday.

Finally it was time to go home. We did some grocery shopping before proceeding to try to find a taxi. It was really a hassle getting a cab from that area. We eventually found a cab after walking about 15 mins to the nearest metro station. I think for next week, we will try to take the number of the nearest taxi stand and call a cab from church before we leave. That will eliminate a lot of the stress that I was feeling while we were searching for a cab today.

Friday, May 5, 2006

After a bath...

Doesn't she looks adorable in this hooded towel. Uncle Chester bought it for her, together with a couple more towels/blankets and some mittens/booties sets.

"Thank you Uncle Chester."

She LOVES to take baths. I think it might be one of her favourite moment of the day. The top favourite HAS to be time spent with her mummy. *mummy grinning away* Whenever she is taking her bath, she will be happily smiling away. I think she is going to enjoy time spent in the pool. I will definitely take her "swimming" when we are back in Singapore and possibly here in summer.

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Laetitia WANTS to be carried.

All babies cry, some more and some less. Babies cry when they are hungry, upset, needs a cuddle, are uncomfortable (e.g. wet/dirty nappies, too hot, too cold) etc. There are many reasons why babies cry. Sometimes babies cry for attention, they just want their mummy or daddy to carry them, hold them close. Laetitia is a very pleasant baby who mainly cries when she is hungry, has a very wet/dirty diaper, is too hot (she dislike the heat) or sometimes when she wants to be held.

This is a typical day when she is bored after lying on the bed and playing for a relatively long time (according to the attention span of a baby, a couple of minutes is long) and she is starting to fuss and wants to be carried. BUT, when I refuse to carry her immediately, this is what happens...

"Mummy! I want you to carry me! Now!"
"Oh Mummy, you want to take photos of me? Let me look cute first!"

"Ok Mummy, that's enough now. I'm starting to get upset again..." (check out the start of a frown on her forehead.)

"Now I am really upset."
"I'm going to cry loudly!"
"Mummy, please....."

Okay, Mummy finally gives up and carries her little darling. And once again, the house is calm and everything is good.

Monday, May 1, 2006

First time taking expressed breast milk.

Laetitia has been an exclusively breastfed baby since birth but it has been my intention to get her used to the bottle once she has passed her first month. I wanted her to be able to take both expressed breastmilk and even some formula once in a while. This is to make sure that she is able to be fed in any circumtances (e.g if I fall ill or could not be around to breastfeed her at her meal time) and will not starve. At the same time, I am not sure how long I want to breastfeed her and I do not want to get into a situation where she has been so used to the breast that she rejects the bottle (which was the experience of some friends who waited a longer time before introducing the bottle).

So, today, I pumped the first bottle of expressed breast milk for her. For a first time, it was a very successful pumping session in my opinion. I managed to get 100ml from one breast in about 10 mins. I will need to get more bottles if I do intend to build up a small supply of expressed breast milk.

Etienne was given the wonderful task of feeding our little darling her first bottle feed in the early evening. I showed him how to go about preparing the bottle, e.g. warming it in a bowl of water, a quick sterilization of the teat and finally testing the temperature of the milk. Once everything was done, he was ready to give the bottle to Laetitia. I think having him feed her is a great way for papa and daughter to bond. If possible, the plan will be for him to do a feed a day.

There was a couple of minutes of confusion for Laetitia when Etienne first introduce the bottle to her. She tried it the first time and kept pushing the teat out with her tongue. I bet she was wondering why is it so different from mummy's breast! I had to watch from a distance since I read that the mother's pressence would usually create more difficulties in introducing the bottle to breastfed babies. Etienne persisted by gently sticking the bottle back into her mouth evertime she pushed it out. Within 5 mins or less, our precious baby was sucking on the teat like a pro! She eventually took in a total of 80ml of expressed breastmilk. Yipee, first bottle feeding session is a success. :-)