Monday, December 29, 2008

Presents time

Just to share a video of Laetitia's joy when she opens her presents.

You can also hear in the background her cousin's excitement when opening his present (an iPod). These two kids were definitely spoiled over Christmas with an abundance of presents.

As an aside, here in France when it comes to presents, they keep very much to the mystery/magic of Father Christmas. NO presents placed under the Christmas tree until after the kids go to bed. Everyone has to put a pair of shoes under the tree so that Father Christmas (Santa Claus) will know where to put your presents. The children will tend wake up very excited in the morning to see what presents they received from Santa. All the presents come from Santa so the kids do not know who gave them what (except until they realised that Santa is all a myth then they are expected to thank the person who gave them the gifts). Opening of presents takes place first thing in the morning once everyone in the house is up. For us, on Christmas morning it took us 1 1/2hrs to do that!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Noël à Carqueiranne.

As usual, we're at my in laws to spend Christmas together as a family. I see this as a tradition we'll like to keep even when we're no longer living in Paris. It's wonderful spending this festive time together. It's Laetitia's third Christmas and she is starting to understand Christmas and what it is about. We're keeping the story of Santa to keep the magic of the presents under the tree together with explaining what Christmas is really about, the birth of Jesus. I am glad to have this blog to take a look at her first (2006) and second (2007) Christmas.

This year we came slightly earlier on the 20th and will be staying until the 3rd of January. There is a little Christmas corner near the town hall with lots of different activities for children and Laetitia has been going there almost everyday. She enjoys going on the merry go round (unlike last year) and being pushed on a sled by her cousin on a little ice-skating circuit.

Here's some photos taken up to this morning (presents opening time!)

This year Laetitia is showered with presents again. This little one received so many presents! As you can see from this photo, she is totally surrounded with toys. She received lots of books (2 English, 4 French), digital camera, fully furnished doll house and a memory game. There are some other presents waiting for her in Paris (which we simply do not have the luggage space to carry here and back with us).

This is how the doll house looks like when put together. In fact, we will be leaving this doll house here as it is too heavy and big to bring alone with us.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What is encouragement?

Last night over dinner while we were watching "Little Bears", I asked Etienne what he thought the difference was between positive encouragement and setting realistic expectations. This was prompted by the episode where Little Bear wanted to fly to the moon and Mother Bear told him that he can't fly and is a fat bear cub who would probably fall with a thump. After I asked the question, before Etienne could answer, Laetitia piped up to ask, "Mummy, what is encouragement?". As I was in the middle of a conversation with Etienne, I did not reply her and she went "Mummy, please talk to me". :p

So, I turned to her and asked her if she wanted to know what encouragement meant. She said yes and that's where it got a little tough for me. How to explain encouragement in simple terms to a 2 1/2 year old. We told her that encouragement was giving support to someone when they want to do something. It was rather close to the dictionary definition I found however when we asked her if she understood what it meant, she shook her head (obviously mummy!). So Etienne and I tried to explain it in plain terms using our day to day life. For example when she wants to climb up a high play structure, we would tell her, of course you can do it (even before she tries). Or when she tries to complete a puzzle and tells me it's difficult and I tell her that I'm sure she can do it and she should try, that is encouragement. I think she got the gist of it. :)

I do feel like I've gone back to school to the times when I have to do comprehension exercises and part of the work was testing on vocabulary. We had to provide the definition of the words and it was not exactly easy even when I do know what the word meant. Then again, I am glad that Laetitia has an inquisitive mind to ask questions.

Back to the original question of positive encouragement vs setting realistic expectations. I personally feel that it is a hard act to balance the two. What is unrealistic to one may in turn be a possibility to other and I think at this point of time, I'll rather err on the side of providing more encouragement and being "unrealistic" then run the risk of crushing the dreams/aspiration of my child.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Trip to Edinburgh

We took a little weekend trip to Edinburgh to visit our friend Ash over the weekend (5th to 7th) and while it was nice to get away from Paris for a bit, it certainly was a tiring weekend sincedim Laetitia missed her naps on most of the days and went to bed pretty late. The food was good though. We had excellent Indian (biryani) and Chinese (dim sum).

Edinburgh is a rather pretty city but not exactly very toddler friendly (it was hard to let Laetitia walk by herself but then maybe it's just the Christmas crowd). Then again, Paris is not very toddler friendly too. Laetitia did have a good time though. She enjoyed the food and the shopping like a true blue Singaporean. In fact, she managed to grab a pair of Clark's Molly the magical cat boots that was on sale and promptly wore them out of the store. I, on the other hand, came back empty-handed since being 7 months pregnant means that I have no idea what would fit me post partum. Sigh, what a disappointment for me.

Here's the little one (with chocolatey lips) and her mummy on the plane. We took Easyjet which was reasonably priced. It was good that we did the online check-in and was able to be the first few on the plane since we had Laetitia (who was under 5 year old) with us.
Laetitia and her papa along Princes Street. Both looking cool with their shades.
Coffee time with Papa, mummy and Uncle Ash.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Very active baby.

I have to say that this little boy is one active bean. I feel his movements so much more then when I was pregnant with Laetitia. I remember starting to feel him early on around 14-15 weeks and now at almost 30 weeks, I feel him almost ALL.THE.TIME! I sure hope he'll calm down when he is born.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

First time meeting Santa

... and it did not go well at all. She was excited about the idea of meeting Santa before we actually got to the party to see him but the moment we arrived and she saw him in a distance, she burst into tears and started running away saying that she does not want to see Santa and that she is scared of him.

I had initially planned to take some nice first photos of Laetitia and Santa for Christmas and had prepared her for the excitement by telling her way ahead of time that we're going to a Christmas party to see Santa. I had foolishly thought that it will be enough to help prep her but I was wrong. When we were there, there was nothing I could do to convince her that Santa is nice, not even the temptation of Santa giving out lollies. So, it was a failed attempt to introduce my little one to Santa Clause. Maybe we'll try again next year.

Anyways, here's a couple of pics our friend Ash who was visiting took of Laetitia about a week ago. I thought they look quite nice. :-)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Preparing to be a big sister.

I just made a comment on a friend's blog and thought I should seriously blog this down.

Laetitia is starting to become very aware that baby is a part of our lives. When she talks about our family now, it often includes baby or Loïc (the name that she is so inclined to call the baby). She tells me she loves mummy, papa and baby and sometimes talk to the baby. The fun part is, many times when she is talking or singing to baby, he moves! I guess the little one enjoys hearing his sister's voice too. She loves to hug my belly too, telling me she is giving Loïc a hug or kiss. At times, she tells the baby, "I'm jiejie Laetitia" (jiejie = sister in Mandarin). Now the funniest part is, whenever she is sharing some food with me and/or Etienne, she would put aside some for baby too and if she is able to, she will attempt to shove these pieces of food up my belly button for baby! And she tries to share one of her lovey/doudous with baby by putting them across my belly. It's so fun seeing her bond with the baby this way. :-)

Of course on the other side of the spectrum, she is also pretending to be a baby at times. She tells me "Laetitia is a baby" and occasionally attempts to crawl on all fours to me. Well, can't wait for the real challenge when baby Loïc arrives.

PS: I spoke to the daycare psychologist who was in for observation today and aside from telling me that Laetitia seems to have over most of her anxiety/fear issues, asked me if the baby is named Loïc as Laetitia told her that her baby brother's name. :p

Monday, November 17, 2008

Setting up the Christmas tree.

Since we'll we leaving for my parents in law on the 20th December for Christmas plus we'll be going away to Edinburgh the first weekend of December, Etienne decided that we should set up the Christmas tree early this year to benefit from it.

This year we have a very enthusiastic helper who was quite excited to hand all the ornaments onto the tree. It did however ended up with almost all the decorations at the bottom, on one side and many would fall if we even slightly shake or move the tree so obviously a little help was required in the end. :p

Here's some pics of the work in progress!

The final product, all lit up!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

More baking.

Since Laetitia had so much fun last weekend with the baking and even more joy eating the muffins/cupcakes she made, I decided to do more this weekend. Yesterday we made some chocolate muffins.

Here's the little baker in action. The lovely Ratatouille apron came from a friend of ours who used to work with Etienne in Toronto but is with Pixar now.

Preparing the muffin tray by lining them with the muffin paper cups.
Getting all ready to put the ingredients together
Pouring the yogurt into the mixture
The final product (before being eaten for breakfast).

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Laetitia's first bake

Today I decided to do something different with Laetitia and we baked! I had her help to prepare the muffin tray, pour the ingredients into the big mixing bowl and stir before I used the mixer to give it a final touch before putting the cake into the oven. We made chocolate chip yogurt cake/muffins.

Here's the final results.

I thought that using nice 70% cocoa lindt cooking chocolate would be nice but in the end, the chocolate made the cake a bit too bitter. I'll stick to cheap chocolate chips in future. :p

Well, it's been a little while since I post the last picture of her so here's one of Laetitia lined up in bed with her stuffed friends.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Update on Laetitia's anxiety issues.

After fretting and worrying throughout the week, we eventually got around to speaking with the daycare in-house psychologist (who comes in for observation once every month or so) yesterday evening. Her observation of Laetitia (based on the past and what she saw yesterday) plus our input on what is going on in our lives (mainly the new baby coming - my belly getting obviously bigger) is that the root of what is causing the fear/anxiety recently is two folds. Firstly, the personality of Laetitia and secondly the coming baby.

The psychologist said that Laetitia is a very sensitive child and seeks to please. Well, yes, both Etienne and I are rather sensitive... me more then him considering that during the week I had cried twice in the daycare when I felt lost with how I could help my darling. She observed that my little one is very aware of what is going on around her, how her little friends are feeling/doing etc. And in the case of her little friends doing things that she does not like, even though theoretically she knows that she should say "NO, stop", "I don't like it" , "Don't disturb me" etc, she is unable to get herself to do it. The psychologist feels that this is partly due to her nature of wanting to please, she might be afraid that if she says that or take a strong stand like that, her little friends might not like her anymore. This of course causes a lot of conflict within her little being. I guess that is why she becomes scare of going to the daycare or scare of the kids since she does not know how to deal with her conflicting emotions. I have to say that I feel slightly guilty somehow in how Laetitia's personality/character had a part to play in her feeling the way she does now. I had always told her to be nice and share whenever she plays with others even when someone else tries to take something that she is playing with. What the psychologist said is true, to the child, sometimes it is important that we have to acknowledge that they have the right to something first and not always be the one giving in. In the case of Laetitia, right now it seems that the conflict is that she does not like what was being done to her (other kids being pushy or aggressive) but she dare not say stop or no because she wants to be liked. And this caused her a lot of stress (leading to the manifestation of what we had seen the last 3 weeks or so).

Now onto the fact that the pregnancy or imminent arrival of another child in the family is a big change for an only child, the psychologist noticed a few things that explained that Laetitia is showing signs of worry about her place in the family. Watching her over the day and hearing from the caregivers in the daycare, Laetitia has a particularly harder time with newcomers and the psychologist thinks this is a reflection of her being afraid of losing her place/being replaced. Laetitia also constantly ask to be in the babies section instead of the toddlers section and this could be because she is more secured in her relationship with the adults in the babies section compared to the toddlers section plus she is more in control there.

Her suggestions to us includes the following:-

1) Continue to teach Laetitia to say no, stop etc when it comes to other kids doing things she does not like but to add on and explain that doing that will not change how the kids will play with her and want to be with her.

2) At home, spend time being as a family and explain to Laetitia that her place in our hearts, in our family will not change even with the arrival of the baby. We will still love her as much and she is always our little girl.

3) As we had asked if we should stop going to the daycare for a while to give Laetitia a break, she said that it is not necessary and what I should do is to bring her earlier when the other kids have yet to arrive (that means between 12:15pm to 12:30pm instead of 1:30pm), prepare her before we leave the house, reassure her when we arrive, have a little cuddle time with her and then leave even if she does cry. Let the caregivers calm her down and they will then help her welcome each child that arrives after to give her a sense of them coming into her space.

We should do the above and monitor the situation. The psychologist was very kind and also said we can contact her anytime if we need to discuss more in future.

On a side note, we have found a new nanny and though unsure if this is the right time, I think it had better be now then later since we would probably need the help more when the baby arrives and it is better that Laetitia gets used to this person earlier instead of only when the baby arrives. At least by then, it is only one new face instead of two, one change instead of two. It is also a good thing for me to know if this person can be a good help for when the baby arrives.

Gosh, what challenges there lies for parents. Now I really see how striking a balance in what I teach my child(ren) vs their personality is vital. With Laetitia, because she is a gentle and eager to please child, it is more important to teach her to stand for herself and be assertive while maybe baby number two might need the approach I had always taken, to focus more on sharing and being non-aggressive. Well, we'll see. :-)

Monday, October 27, 2008

The difficulties of raising a gentle soul

My little one is a very gentle soul. She is full of compassion and love. People are always telling me how happy and joyful she always seems and it is true, she is a relatively easy child. She has good sleep habits, is rather well behaved for an almost 3 year old, is sometimes very cheeky and loves to give kisses and hugs.

Now on the flip side, I have come to realise that there are some challenges with having a child so sweet and peace loving. And one of the BIG challenge manifested itself over the last couple of weeks.

About two weeks ago, when I sent her to the daycare, the strangest thing happened. She started to cry and say that she wanted to go home. Since the last year or more, she has always enjoyed going to daycare and sometimes ask about going on weekends so this was a big surprise for me. I stayed to calm her down, sitting with her through story-telling time and finally managed to get her to stop crying and agree to stay and play with her friends. Now, since that time and even slightly before that, I noticed that she is very uncomfortable around a little boy who seemed to be very agressive (pulling her hair and being rough with other kids during drop-off time). Slowly, this escalated to her constantly saying she does not want to go into the daycare center after we arrive. Now this would happen just as she is walking towards the toddlers room after entering the daycare happily. Once she sees a couple of the more "active/dynamic" kids (it's now no longer confined to just that little boy but also other kids who might seem pushy and loud), she turns and runs back to the stroller and says she wants to go home. I managed to get her to go in by carrying her inside and then having one of the caregivers take her in their arms. At that point, about a week ago, I decided to talk to the principal of the daycare about it.

We discussed how we could help Laetitia deal with handling her fears and her approach with these more "active/dynamic" kids. Now, I do not like to label children and during the conversation with the principal, I did not name names of which kids terrify Laetitia nor use negative labels on them. In fact, the exact words we used to described was "dynamic". For lack of a better word, I understand that some toddlers are more aggressive then others but the problem is, they are causing my darling stress. We agreed that on my part, we would speak to Laetitia about it at home and teach her to very loudly tell whoever is upsetting her (either by pulling her hair or disturbing her) to "STOP!", "Leave me alone!" or "I don't like you to do that!" and then tell an adult about it. And the daycare on their part will reassure her and tell her the same thing. This sounds like a good solution at the point we spoke. However, the problem seemed to have grown bigger for Laetitia.

Over the weekend, she had been sick. Since Friday evening, she has been vomiting. Initially I thought it might be a stomach flu. She vomited 6 times in 24 hrs from Friday night to Saturday night and then on Sunday, she seemed better until late evening. She was well throughout the day until about 5pm when she vomited about 5 times between 5-9pm. So, this morning I took her to the doctor. He could not find anything wrong with her. No stomach flu, no gastro etc. And yes, she did not have any diarrhea. He finally concluded that it could be just some stomach spasm. Probably something irritated her stomach and it is causing her to vomit or something psychological. So, instead of keeping her at home as I had intended, I sent her to the daycare and explained to one of the caregivers to give Laetitia small quantities of food for tea time. As we were talking, she mentioned how it might be due to Laetitia's anxiety with the situation in the daycare and it dawn on me how it could very well be it. She did mention that they can see she is visibly stressed and afraid when the boy is around. Right now, Laetitia refuses to be in the toddler section even when he is not around. Last Friday when we arrived at the daycare and she refused to go in (there was one of the louder kids around but seriously I think they are harmless), the assistant principal told me to bring her into the babies section first and then they will slowly integrate her during nap/play time. That worked fine. And today, Laetitia asked to go to the babies section even before we left the house!

So, my conclusion is that her vomiting spells over the weekend is stress related and it started with the little boy (whom I am told today is leaving the daycare after next week) being aggressive towards her and now has lead to her being generally afraid of the other kids who might seem to be more pushy. Now aside from this boy, the other kids are harmless, they are loud but just very excitable. How can I help her to get over her anxiety in dealing with these other children? It hurts me to see my little one crumbling this way. As the daycare personnel said, Laetitia is a child who is very much about love and compassion. She is always the first one to want to give another kid a hug or kiss to comfort them if they are crying. She is always running to help another kid who fell. She does not hit, push or act out in any aggressive manner. And in this case, she cannot understand why this other child is being so violent towards her and it scares her.

I wonder if the way I brought her up is making her less resilient. I always taught her to share, tell her not to hit etc. The normal things that we teach our children. We practice what we teach at home, Etienne and I treat each other with love and respect and we do the same towards our little one. Now the only thing I feel I can do is to talk to her about it, to tell her to stand up for herself, and at the same time tell her that we (her parents, God, the adults etc) are here to protect her and she does not need to be afraid but what else can I do?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A big baby?

I had my 22 weeks ultrasound today (at 22w 1 day) and it seems junior (as Etienne likes to call this little one) is a rather big baby. It was a very detailed scan checking out all the measurements, the vital organs etc and the doctor said it all looks good. Baby is active with a regular heartbeat rate of 149 per minute.

Junior measures 70/87 percentile in terms of overall size and is estimated to weigh about 575.6g. It is amazing the amount of things that get measure and checked. The doctor even records the length of the nose bone (7.7mm - normal for term), the length of the foot vs the femur, all the cavities of the heart, the valves etc.

It all good aside from the fact that my obstetrician thinks that my belly is big for my term (even though officially I only gained about 2-3kgs). I was sent for early gestation diabetes test due to that and thankfully the results came back okay, no GD at the moment.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Christmas is coming soon.

Well, Christmas is coming soon and from experience, I now know that I should get Lae's present EARLY so, yes, some of her presents are bought and I'm just wanting till it's time to get the tree up and put them under it.

So far, her presents consist of the following:-

1) Doll clothes for the new doll, Lola, that she got recently from Etienne's sister.

2) A high chair for her dolls

3) A moses basket for her dolls.

4) A digital camera from my friend Jaimie.

I also got her a dress for Christmas from Gap. I just love it, especially the part where there is some tutu under the skirt to give it a little pouff.

I need to get just a few more items and I believe that should complete my Christmas shopping for the little one. Well, I don't want her to be too spoiled with gifts during Christmas but yet... I mean, it's so easy to want to indulge in this little cutie pie yah?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Little ballerina girl.

Laetitia still at my in laws and yesterday I received a couple of photos from my mother in law on what went on during the day for them. She went to the library, played on the beach, danced in the house etc. Anyways, one of the photos is this!

Isn't she cute? My very own little ballerina girl. My mum in law let Laetitia tried on Etienne's sister ballerina costume. I am always amazed at how she has kept most of the stuff from when Etienne and his sister were little. I mean, this ballerina costume is like 35 years old. It is a little big on her but I'm sure she will soon grow into it. And then, it'll be time to send her for some ballet class. Can't wait!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Is there a baby in there Mummy?

First belly pictures for this little one. Here big sister Laetitia is touching the belly wondering if there really is a little brother in there. :-)

Here is one more just for fun.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Happy 40th Birthday Papa!

It is her papa's birthday in two days time and as part of the celebrations, we went to my in laws in the south to spend some time with them. We had a little celebration at home with Laetitia and my in laws yesterday. Here's a little video of the two of them together blowing out the candles.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Our parenting style.

I am involved in a couple of forums and over the course of time, there has been many discussions about parenting style and how we deal with issues like punishment/discipline, CIO (crying-it-out)/sleep training etc. Sometimes I am left shaking my head at some comments and sometimes I can totally see myself doing the same thing. I do not particularly subscribe to *one* style of parenting but like most parents, combine what works for my child and my family. I thought that since we'll soon be facing the challenge of parenting another child, this is a good time to write down what has worked for us so far. Of course I am also bearing in mind that every child is different and every child need something different from the other to grow and flourish.

What worked so far for us as parents (I will try to note down what we did from birth wise)?

1) Lots of contact/affections.
We are a very affectionate family. From the birth of Laetitia, I love love love to carry her and keep her close to me. I wear her very often and give her kisses and hugs ALL THE TIME.
Now that she is older, we do "family hug" time when the three of us do a group hug and we sing a little song that goes something along the line of "I love you, you love me, we are one big family. With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you (at this point we will kiss each other), won't you say you love me too." We say I love you to each other all the time too.

2) Sleep training
Yes, I do sleep train my child. I agree with most of what the book "Healthy sleep habits, happy baby" states. Children need their sleep and some of them need to be taught to sleep well. We did controlled crying and shushing but not outright CIO. We also had Laetitia sleeping by herself in her room from about two or three months old. Even now, at 2 and a half, we sometimes have to let her cry a little before sleeping (she would protest about going to bed even though we can see she is tired) and if she wakes up in the middle of the night, we try to let her settle by herself (of course we listen to see if the cry is just a cry for attention or something else like if she fell off the bed or had a nightmare!)

3) Objectivity - Lots of praise and also reminders of what is not encouraged.
I believe in praising the child to build his/her confidence. I tell Laetitia she did a good job, that I am proud of her (like if she shares), I am pleased that she was well-behaved, it was nice that she did something etc whenever I catch with good behaviour. I encourages her to do things by praising her and telling her how pleased I will be if she could do this or that. On the other side of the coin, I do not hesitate to tell her that something she did is "not nice", that what she did made me unhappy etc if she misbehaves. That sometimes would stop her but if that does not, then I do not hesitate to either let her face the natural or imposed consequences.

4) Discipline - firm but no spanking.
I believe in disciplining a child. I believe that a child has to be taught what is right and wrong. And I believe that a child should learn respect and his/her limits. Oh, but let me say that I do not believe that a child under one year old really understands the concept of control so this did not apply until Laetitia was about one year old.
I started imposing time out but putting her in the carseat she had outgrown and locking her in so that she cannot get out when she is being punished. At that point (one year old), it was for one minute. Right after she was punished, I would explain to her why I did that and what she did that was not desired (maybe biting me repeated or something along those lines). Now, she is usually told that she did something mean and if she didn't stop, she would be sent to her room. And when she throws little tantrums, I would usually first tell her I do not like that behaviour, and then ignore her by walking away.

5) Giving autonomy/teaching independence while maintaining control.
We allow Laetitia a certain degree of autonomy and encourages independence. For about a year now she has been feeding herself during mealtimes. She is also able to spend half an hour by herself playing in her room several times a day. We let her decide what she wants to wear, which plate she wants to use, what desserts she wants after the meal (from a choice of two) etc.
And of course there are certain things she has to listen to us, for example, when is bedtime, what type of activities are forbidden (climbing unto the table, playing in the kitchen etc).

I'm sure there are more to what we do but for now, this will suffice.

Paris in June

As mentioned in an earlier post in June, we had some photos taken by a friend who is a photographer. After some delay, I got hold of the photos about a week back and some of them are really very nicely taken.

These are some of my favourite family pics.

Lae and her papa.

By herself
I love love love this photo as it shows so much of her character. Very cheeky and always up to some silliness/fun. And she makes me laugh so much all the time.

At this moment, we're in the south of France at my in laws. We're celebrating Etienne's 40th with the family before going back to Paris (without Laetitia) to have a romantic night by ourselves and a little party with friends later in the week. My mother in law will bring Laetitia back to Paris a week later. We've really been blessed with very helpful and kind in laws who are not only willing to watch Lae but go through the trouble of taking the train for more then 8 hours (slightly more then 4hrs one way) to send Lae back to us. Merci Mamou.

Friday, October 3, 2008

He felt the baby!

I started feeling the baby about a month back or more (thought the doctor said it's more likely air then the baby since it was only about 14 weeks but *I* disagree). Anyways, I have been trying to get Etienne to feel my belly when baby moves and finally late last night, as we are laying in bed, I asked him to put his hand on the tummy since the little one is jumping around and low and behold, he felt a very slight movement! Yes, baby is saying "hi papa, I'm here!". It's so sweet.

On a good note, the nausea is gone and the tiredness is slowly disappearing. I could go through some days without needing a nap now. I am starting to gain some weight and it's all going well. We're almost half way there!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Training to help out in chores.

Laetitia loves to do "adult" stuff and that includes helping us out with the household chores. One of her favourite activity is to put the laundry into the washing machine. Here my little darling is hard at work.

And maybe, just maybe, if she earns enough pocket money from doing chores she might be able to afford herself some decent shopping and be a young fashionista? :p

Monday, September 22, 2008

An allergic reaction.

We had a little scare this evening with Laetitia having an allergic reaction to either the cashew or macadamia nut she had while we were having apperitif with Anne and Nico at our place. It started with her saying that there's something on her tongue/in her mouth and then she started complaining of some discomfort. It quickly led to her vomiting and then saying that her stomach hurts. For a while, I thought she might have eaten something bad but when she started scratching and then her body started turning red and hives developed I quickly realised it's an allergic reaction. It's a first so we immediately called the SOS doctor helpline. The paediatric doctor has a wait of 2hrs so we asked for a normal doctor. At the same time, Etienne called my father in law (a doctor) to ask if there is anything specific we should do. After determining it was not "life-threatening", we just tried our best to comfort Lae and distract her from her discomfort. Anne and Nico took their leave to allow us to deal with Laetitia in peace. Poor little one was in so much discomfort.

Finally the doctor came, prescribed some medication which Etienne had to go get at a 24hr pharmacy 20 mins away, we gave Lae the medicine and she quickly fell asleep as it was pass 10pm and she was totally exhausted from the ordeal.

The thing is I had given Laetitia food containing some nuts (hazelnuts, pecan, walnut, almonds etc) but she never had any reaction. I guess this time it was a whole nut that's why. Anyways, we will be more vigilant with nut products going forward.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Back home and back to daycare.

Finally it's "la rentrée" (back to school). In France, almost everything shuts down in summer especially in the month of August. Shops are closed, schools are closed, and even daycare centers are closed. The French would take the opportunity to go on long holidays during this time. Etienne took three weeks off and Laetitia spent 3 weeks with her grandparents and the last week of the holiday with us in Paris. I was initially worried that Laetitia would need to readjust getting back to the daycare but nope, she was excited to go back and there was no problem at all. In fact, the caregivers were so sweet to call her the darling of the garderie, telling me she is very well behaved. So, now that Laetitia is back to the daycare, I can rest in the afternoons.

Last weekend we attended a wedding just outside of Paris and I managed to snap a couple of photos of her in the garden smelling the flowers and along the side of the swimming pool with her papa.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

It's a......

We went for our regular doctor's visit today and she did a quick scan to show us how the baby is growing. She then asked if we want to know the sex and we said YES.

So, she looked and went, oh, there's a little "zizi" (penis in cutey kiddy French). So, yes, we are having a BOY! Now the big thing is finding a name.

In the meantime, I am still mightily tired and am in need of a nap EVERYDAY. The vomiting has more or less stopped but the nausea has not. Some nights, I need an hour of burping in bed before I finally get to sleep. Well, it should get better right?

Monday, August 18, 2008


Oh, I miss her so much I nearly cried when she told me "I love you, Mummy" over the phone today. This is the longest she has been away from me (11 days and counting). She'll be back in Paris with her papa (who left today) this coming Saturday.

Look at how much my little bean has grown.

And doesn't she look more and more like me as she grows?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Potty trained.

My little one is potty trained! She has been pooing and peeing in the potty and even on the toilet for the last 2 weeks with almost no accidents in the last week. YIPEE my darling. She still wears a diaper to sleep but is in panties otherwise and is able to tell us when she needs to poo (which she says "poot") and pee. :-D

First trimester screening

We went for our nuchal translucency screen and the results came back normal. The doctor did not tell me the exact risk but looking at the measurement and comparing it with Laetitia's, it seemed more optimistic. Lae was 1.7mm at 7wks3days and baby's is 1.1mm at 7 wks4days. It seems like this baby is more active then his/her elder sis. Thank God for all the good news today and that our baby is healthy and active.

Some new stats on the baby:-
Head perimeter - 78mm
Tummy circumference - 70mm
Thigh bone - 8mm
Crown Rump Lenght - 64mm

Everything looks fine and here is a picture of the ultrasound.

As for me, I am feeling slightly better. Etienne and I just came back from a 4 days trip to Prague and I managed to be out and about for an average of 6 hrs a day (from 11am to 3pm and then from 7pm to 9pm). The rest of the time was spent sleeping in the hotel. It was a good thing that I changed and upgraded us to a better hotel in the city since it made it easier to get back for my afternoon naps. I am still taking medication to control the nausea and vomiting but I can feel my strength coming back.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Summer in Carqueiranne

Laetitia is having a good summer holiday in Carqueiranne now. We came here on the 1st and Etienne and I left today while we left Laetitia behind to enjoy herself further. Well, actually I was feeling a little anxious this time since when I tried explaining to her yesterday that papa and mummy are going back to Paris and she will be staying with her papou and mamou, she looked a little sad and said she wants to go to Paris with us too. But I know she will have lots of fun with my in laws and her cousin Alexandre. She will stay until the 23rd but Etienne will be joining her on the 18th. I will have some personal free time from 11th to 23rd and before that, Etienne and I will take a little romantic holiday to Prague and spend some time in Paris.

One of Laetitia's favourite thing to do here is to swim in the sea, check out how happy she is!

She is getting rather tanned considering that she goes to the beach everyday and sometimes TWICE a day. Lucky girl.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Saw the little shrimp jumping around

Had another ultrasound today and we heard the heartbeat AND saw the little shrimp jumping around in the womb. It is so amazing! Sorts of cancel out my horrible discomfort yesterday of having to vomit three times. Well, sort of. :p

Here are some updates of the little one.

Heartbeat rate of 174bpm.
Head to toe of about 38-42 mm depending on which angle he/she was measured.

Everything else looks very good as explained by the doctor. From the measurements, I should be 10 1/2 weeks. Anyways, I made a ticker for the pregnancy. Here it is.

Monday, July 28, 2008


The day that I have been waiting patiently for! Her hair is long enough to be tied up into two little pony tails. :-p

Ain't she cute with her little pony tails? So girlish.
A closer look of her hair.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

And the vomiting starts...

Yes, it just did and it felt horrible. I am now almost 10 weeks pregnant and if my memory does not fail me, it started around the same time when I was pregnant with Laetitia too.

I started taking the medication prescribed by my doctor so hopefully that will help. Gosh, this pregnancy business is really hard work. I have to remind myself that this is my last pregnancy. I am so done with this being pregnant business. I wanted two kids so there goes.

Thankfully, I have Laetitia in the daycare everyday. I cannot imagine if I have to handle her all day. My poor little darling is getting the short end of the stick with me being so tired. My nanny comes over some days so at least she has someone to really entertain her and take her to the parks in the mornings. I am only capable of watching her play while I rest on her bed most of the time on top of making her breakfast and lunch. She is being understanding most of the time though, always asking me if I am feeling better. :-) If anything, I really want to regain my strength so that I can have a more normal time with her.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tired, tired and more tiredness...

I am so tired. I sleep at least 12 hrs a day and I still feel all drained all the freaking time! I have not experienced the same degree of morning sickness as before, e.g no real vomiting yet but there were a couple of close calls.

I am really looking forward to all these discomfort to be over and done with. I can vaguely remember being discomfort free around 20ish weeks so I guess there is a period of time during the pregnancy that I will feel like normal. :p

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fête de fin d'année!

It's the school year end and the halte garderie had a party on the 4th of July. So yes again this post is LATE LATE LATE. But don't blame me. :p

It was a really fun party and they had a travelling farm, Tiligolo come into the daycare! It came with a little performance and after that, the kids could pat the animals. There were all sorts of farm animals and Laetitia had tons of fun.

To start off, We introduce the goat! Nope, not the one in blue, that's my little girl Laetitia. The goat, errrrr, is behind Laetitia.
Having a chance to pat a little duckling.
Being excited watching her friends.
Kids and parents enjoying the spectacle.
Check out all the animals! There was a goat, a piglet, a lamb, chickens, a duck, a goose, ducklings, rabbits, a hen, a rooster etc.
A group picture of the caregivers. Laetitia is sitting on the lap of the principal of the daycare. They are all fabulous with her and she absolutely adores them.