Sunday, March 30, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday Laetitia!

Wow, what a day of celebration my little darling had today. In fact today is the latest Laetitia has ever gone to bed. At almost 11:30pm!!! Her normal bedtime is before 9pm. Well, today is a celebration for her and of her. I shall warn you first that this post is probably the most picture heavy of all the post so far. Well, let's get started shall we?

It started right in the morning after she woke up. She was allowed to open her first set of presents, from her mamou and papou (grandparents).
DVDs and a CD!
Thanking them over the phone for her presents. She was absolutely delighted.
Here she is opening her birthday card from her grandparents. She looks oh so cute in the pose.
Then she's off to have breakfast and watch her Little Einsteins DVD. After breakfast, it's time for to open another present. This time, a present from Tatie Manu (her aunt, Etienne's sister).
It's a cleaning unit with a vacuum cleaner! She had so much fun with it.
Check out this photo. I love it. She is working hard together with her papa. I think we have a good helper around the house.
And just before I took her out for a little walk to the grocery store, she decided to open more presents. She picked the presents from Auntie Eileen this time without any prompting from either of us. And what did she get?
An umbrella! (And a world map too but I did not open the map up for fears that she would tear it just as she had been tearing at the wrappers).
Once she had the umbrella, she refused to leave it behind when we were going out. So, even though it was a bright and sunny day outside, she was walking around with her umbrella. It was sweet though.

After that we came home, she had lunch and it was time for her nap. While she took her nap, I took the opportunity to finish up the decoration on her cake. I had to make the icing from scratch and create a castle from the two cake bases I made the day before. Finally as I was putting the final touches to the cake, she woke up. Since it was another half an hour before Pierre, Caroline and Arik are to be here, I decided she should take the time to open another of her presents, the present from us.
Here it is, the play kitchen.
I have to admit I was a little disappointed that it is SO small. I was expecting something bigger. Well, this will do for the time being. :-) More importantly, she loves it. She had so much fun playing with it and was trying to cook some pasta for me.

Finally our friends came and it was time for cake! I happily presented my darling with her cake. Here she is blowing out her candle and looking all happy.

A close up of the cake
She also received a present from Pierre and Caroline. It was a lovely CD in a book which had English children songs and the equivalent in French. Here is Laetitia and our friends.
The two kids had so much fun playing but somehow, I just forgot all about taking photos of them. I even forgot to take any photo of me and my darling! Or any of Etienne and Laetitia except that funny picture of them vacuuming at the same time. Sigh. The two of them had lots of fun playing with the tent, the kitchen etc. I was very proud of my little girl as she was able to share her toys and would be gracious about it. During the afternoon, Laetitia also opened a few more little presents from us (wooden beads for stringing, doll's clothes etc).
And in the evening, we went off to Jacqueline's apartment. Jacqueline is Etienne's granddad companion and she shares the same birthday as Laetitia. We were invited to dinner. Jacqueline's two nieces were also there.
Laetitia received a book each from Jacqueline and her nieces. And we had a srumptious dinner. Check it out. Huge lobsters for starters.

And finally a birthday cake for the two birthday girls.

And that ends our day. It was almost 11pm and we called a cab, got home just before 11:30pm and put Laetitia straight to bed. What a day. Happy Birthday my darling. I hope you thoroughly enjoyed yourself today. I love you.

Friday, March 28, 2008

A tent, a fall and some others...

Laetitia is in love with her new tent. We set it up so that it is nice with a mat, some toys, some pillows and of course some of her stuff toys. She occasionally brings her doll, Marion inside together with some books to read. It's the first place she wants to go into when she wakes up in the morning and she spends quite a lot of her time in and out of it. Here's some photos from the first day after it was set up.

Two days ago, she suffered her first nasty fall. She tripped and fell onto the door of our neighbour. The thing about our front doors in this apartment is that there is a little piping design and she happened to fall exactly against the piping on her forehead. I did not see how she fell as my back was towards her. All I saw was the immediately after effect! The spot she hit on her forehead started to swell immediately. That kind of scared me. I took her back inside, tried to calm her down but it did not work. I quickly looked for the gel that is for bruises/contusions etc and managed to apply some on her. To distract her, I told her we're calling her papa (which was also for me to verify with Etienne if it was normal or if I need to go see a doc). Yes I am a bit of a panic freak. Well, after being reassured and Laetitia all calmed by talking on the phone to her papa, we set off to the daycare (which was where we were heading in the first place). When I picked her up in the evening, the caregivers told me that she actually recounted the story of her falling to them (including me applying the cream and calling her papa). What a little chatterbox.

And about her being a chatterbox, this morning I asked her to "ask papa for a diaper please" and she turned around, shouted (as her papa was in the bathroom) "papa, la couche sil tu plait". She is slowly getting better with speaking in English. I believe it has to do with the fact that I had stopped working and she gets at least 3-4 hours of English a day with me.

Here are some photos of her with her shades. It's her third pair and I bought 2 pairs at one go as she already broke 2 other pairs.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A day out at Koony Planet.

It's the long weekend here and initially we wanted to take a little trip to Loire Valley as we borrowed the car from Jean (Etienne's granddad who lived just across from us) but the weather was yucky so we changed our plans. I checked out the indoor play parks around Paris and decided on Koony Planet. So, on Saturday late morning, we made our way there. It took slightly longer than the 30 mins stated on the GPS due to the very heavy traffic (infact, this weekend is supposedly one of the deadliest weekends on the roads in France).

However, it was all worth it when we arrived as Laetitia absolutely loved the place. There are specific structures for below three year olds and we started off with the trampolines. Oh boy did she have fun. It was funny though since she has never been on one and did not actually know how to jump on it. She was kind of skipping more then jumping but who cares as long as she had fun. After that, we moved on to the bouncy castle.

After all that bouncing and jumping, we went off to the little play structure for the 1-2 year olds. My little darling had so much fun going down the slide as it was much faster then the rest she had been on. I was quite relaxed about it since the entire area is very safe and built especially for kids her age. It was fun that the end of the slide had a little bump so she would actually bouncy off it onto the mat. She totally enjoyed herself on that. In between going on the slide, she would also throw herself into the ball pool.

All in all, it was a really fun afternoon for her. And since it's a special day out, I decided to let her have what I would normally consider junk/fast food for lunch. Anyways, we are not allowed to consume food other than those served in the playarea. So, she basically had sausages (and they were oily and salty), fries (not exactly the healthiest), some ham and bread.

After that we packed up and left for our next destination, Ikea. She took a nap as we drove there since she was all tired out. We got her a shelf for storing her toys and a tent to play in from Ikea and finally headed home at about 6.15pm. It is considerably a long day out with Laetitia and boy was I all tired by the end of the day. However, seeing the amount of fun my little pie had, I will be very happy to make the trip again to Koony Planet (I think we'll do it differently the next time by only going to Koony Planet and no where else though :p).

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Laetitia's coming birthday

So yes, Laetitia's 2nd birthday is coming and I have most of her presents bought! I learnt my lesson from Christmas. If I do not buy it while I see it, they might be out of stock when I decide it's the time to buy AND remain out of stock for the next 2 months! Hah, well, I did "save" some of the ideas from Christmas though and use them for her birthday. So far we have bought and wrapped the Tefal kitchen, a few sticker books (as she is really into them currently), clothes for her doll, a bubbles making set, large wooden beading pearls and some cute clothes for her. On top of that her grandparents are getting her some DVDs/CDs, her aunt got her a cleaning set with brushes, mops and a vacuum.

And I have also been very busy baking baking and baking. I have huge plans about making her a castle cake and I had baked three different cakes so far to attempt to attain the "perfect chocolate cake", moist, soft and chocolatey. I think I am there with the cake now and it's time to work on the icing and decorations.

I have received queries on what to get her for her birthday so here are some ideas. Personally, we made a choice not to do parties for her because I do not want her to be overwhelmed with gifts. She is already very spoiled by her immediate family. But I do understand some of our close friends and family who are not here in France with us would like to get her something so that is why I am posting some ideas. And the attached pictures are only examples and NO she does not need a 20euros umbrella. I think that is a big waste of money to be truthful, even half that price seems a bit much.

1) A kid's umbrella.
2) An inflatable chair for going out.
3) A large scale world map (I saw one for about 9euros in Nature et Découvertes and yes I will admit it. I am pushed by the video of the almost 2 year old girl who knew her geography better then me!)
4) A high chair for her doll.
5) An AquaDoodle or Magna Doodle (preferably travel size)

And of course classics such as books and puzzles are also good.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Breakfast conversations

Some friends asked if I can have a conversation with Laetitia and I guess I could. Everynight, I try to lay in bed with her for 10 mins or so and have a little chat about her day. Anyways, this is a little part of our breakfast conversation this morning as an example.

Mummy: "Do you want some chocolate cake?" (I made some chocolate cake two days ago)
Laetitia: "Yes. I want to share avec Mummy."
Mummy: "You want to share with Mummy?"
Laetitia: "I want to share with Mummy. Le même chocolate à Sylvie." (She do get some of her articles in French wrong)
Mummy: "Okay. You want the same chocolate cake that Sylvie had."

I bring the chocolate cake and she chooses one of the pieces I cut.

Laetitia: "Laetitia make big mess avec les doigts. Mummy, nettoyer les doigts et mains"
Mummy: "Oh, you made a big mess with your fingers. You want Mummy to clean your fingers and hands."
Laetitia: "Le bavoir et pantalon aussi."
Mummy: "We'll clean the bib and pants later."
Laetitia: "Encore du chocolate."
Mummy: "Here is another piece of chocolate cake."
Laetitia: "Merci Mummy."
Mummy: "Thank you Mummy. Is the chocolate cake nice?"
Laetitia: "Yes."
Mummy: "Do you like it?"
Laetitia: "Yes."

And of she goes on to eat another 2 small pieces. And was singing along to her children songs vcd. Right now her favourite for the morning is "Rain Rain go away". I think I replayed it probably 5-10 times!

Oh yes, as from the example above, much much reinforcement, she does speak English to me when she is not as comfortable with the vocabulary used in French. I guess neither Etienne nor the daycare uses "big mess" and "share" too often.

And since I have not post many photos in the last couple of post, here goes.

Enjoying her first smoked salmon sandwich for lunch. I served that with some prawns and salad. She loved the salmon and prawns but is not too keen on the salad. Whatever. :p

This was taken as she was healing from the chicken pox. It was after about 2 weeks. The marks are still healing right now.

This is her big bed that she has been sleeping on for the last 4 nights.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Big girl bed!

Yes! She made the move from her cot to the single bed last night. It was a little harder getting her to go to bed (took 2 hrs instead of the normal 15-30mins bedtime routine of lying in bed chatting about the day, telling her a few stories, singing to her and finally leaving the room while she is still awake) but I guess it is all working out. She woke up once at about 3.30am last night and Etienne went to her to help her get back to sleep and that was it. I found her awake (calling out to me) at about 8am in the big girl bed.

Tonight it was about the same. Harder then usual to get her to sleep but after an hour, I decided it was time to leave the room. She cried a little on and off, called out "Mummy mummy" several times but eventually I believe she felt asleep after about 30 mins. I will check on her later and update on the progress.

We did ask her if she want to sleep in the big bed or the little bed (cot) and she choose the big bed. If it goes well for the next few days, we'll dismantle the cot this weekend and use that space for all the new toys I bought her for her coming birthday. Weeeeeee.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Language explosion.

One day, just as we were preparing to go out, Laetitia came up to us and asked, "Mummy, papa, voulez-vous sortir faire un petit tour? D'accord Mummy? D'accord Papa? (Mummy, papa, would you like to go out for a little walk? Okay Mummy? Okay Papa?). This coming from a older kid would not be as strange as it is coming from the mouth of my not even 2 year old little thing. I looked at Etienne and asked him if it was him speaking to her like this since I do not speak French to her. Well, he said no so we have no idea where she learnt that from. It is interesting since she "tutoyer" us all the time so for her to understand that when she is speaking to the both of us, she should use "vous" instead of "tu" is a major language achievement.

My mother in law and even Etienne was commenting about how she sometimes speaks with this little poshy accent. It is just hilarious since none of us are like that. When I was telling a friend about how Laetitia speaks, she was saying that my little one was possibly a princess in her last life!!! Hahahahah.

Now the only thing that bugs me now is that Laetitia constantly speaks to me in French. She understands what I am saying and she can definitely reply in English but she refuses to! Urrghhh. For example, the other day, I was eating some white biscuits and she wanted some, so I asked, "Do you want the white biscuit?" She replied "Blanc biscuit." So I said, "In English, the white biscuit?" And she replied "Oui, le blanc biscuit." I repeated my question and she replied in french again and said to me "en français, blanc biscuit." Finally when I threatened not to give her the biscuit if she does not tell me in English did she relent. Gosh, I cannot imagine the challenge ahead of me. The challenges of raising a child bilingual. And to think I am starting to introduce another language, Mandarin. What am I getting myself into???

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Meeting Auntie Faith for the first time.

Laetitia met one of my good friends Faith last month when she came over from Sydney for a visit. She stayed with us for slightly more than a week over Feb 11 to 24 and Laetitia got to know her a little better. She gave Laetitia a little Koala and a Winnie the pooh storytime projector (which I am trying to find new story cartridges for) which Laetitia loves. Now whenever Laetitia plays with either of the toys, I would ask her where did they come from and she would answer "Australia". Right now, the few cities/countries she knows are Paris (when I ask her where she lives), Carquerianne (where her grandparents live), Singapore (where most of my family live) and Australia (where koala and Auntie Faith come from). She is slowly getting Canada because that is where Mossie (her stuff canadian moose is from).

Anyways, so here are some photos taken of my little darling by Faith when she was here.

She recently has this silly habit of giving a HUGE GRIN such as this particular one whenever the camera appears. It's her "smile" look. I am not sure how I feel about it. It's a toss between shaking my head in disbelieve or bursting out with laughter.

This is one of the few photos of her and Faith but her expression just about kills me. So comic.
I love this photo. It is so sweet.
This is kind of fun too.