Friday, November 28, 2008

Birthing Options

No, #2 is not on the way, but here's a pretty balanced article about birthing options

In my next life I may become a doula and lactation consultant. Fredo once asked if I'd thought about being a midwife, but that's too much work! I prefer birth coach.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

What We're Thankful For

Mostly today, we're thankful Kyle, Marisa, and Glen are in Mumbai but safe. I literally burst into tears when I saw Marisa's email saying they were ok (and I presume Prachet and Shweta are nowhere near Mumbai or she would have said so). I spent last night in knots, worrying.

Also made me realize something. The world is a different place when you have a kid. Every horrible event takes on new meaning when you're thinking of the future of your kid, when you travel and "safe" places are not so safe anymore. We didn't go to Prachet and Shweta's wedding, though we seriously considered it (new roof and all got in the way). I'd been so envious of Kyle and Marisa going. Now I just keep thinking "what if?" I've been in some hairy situations (tho none this bad), but with Angelina, well, I shudder when I think about it.

But the gang is safe. And I'm thankful. VERY thankful. And I am so very sorry for those who weren't so lucky. For those who lost loved ones in this senseless act.

So tonight I'm especially thankful I can hug and kiss my wonderful husband and amazing daughter, and go to sleep knowing the people I love are safe.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A weekend of fun!

Angelina got to meet more family. On Friday night, Annie (Aunt Helen Ann) called to say she was driving from Florida to Arizona and could she stop in San Antonio for a bit? Sure! As far as Angelina is concerned, that means a whole new audience! As usual, she was in good form (Angelina AND Annie), at least most of the time (Angelina that is).

However, she couldn't quite figure out that "Annie" was not "Nanny", so that's Annie's new name :Nanny. She still knows the 'real' Nanny in California, but just like "Mommy", there can be more than one "Nanny!"

We took a tour of the Alamo, Menger, and Riverwalk downtown, then showed her where we got married at Mission San Jose.

Angelina had fun playing photographer. For her artistic impressions, click here

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tour de France, here we come!

Angelina has fallen in love with bikes, at least when someone else is pedaling.

I had been talking about buying a new bike for weeks, since my last good bike was stolen (some years ago) and my attempt to be cheap by replacing it with a yard sale find meant a bike that was bent and not ridable. And after 3+ years of "I can fix it" but it not being fixed, I finally decided it was time for a new one. To cement the plan, a couple of weeks ago Angelina rode in Angela's bike seat and fell in love.

Lucky for me, my birthday was coming up and Frédéric, always paying attention, decided to surprise me with a bike. Angelina got a present too, a bike seat. I haven't managed pictures of us riding yet, but suffice it to say we're having a blast! The first two days Angelina had her new bike helmet, she wouldn't take it off, she even wanted to sleep with it. I had to hide it during the week or we'd never hear the end of it.

And more pictures here

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Our little Polyglot kid

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten!
Un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six, sept, huit! (she stops at 8 because Dora stops at 'huit')

and now, thanks to Nana (her babysitter):
Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seises, siete, ocho, nueve, diez!

She says these all so well. I'm impressed.

MOM! MOM!...Mommy's Here! Mommy's here!!!

A little confused? Nah, she's just accepted that other women are called "mom."

I noted before how she called our neighbor Angela "Mommy" and then was confused. Now she doesn't seem to care. Or rather, she just calls her "Mom," since that's what Wiley calls her. So yesterday I went to get her after playing there for awhile (she thinks she lives there too and just wanders in...) she shouted to Angela, "Mom! Mom! Mommy's here!"

I thought it might bother me, having my child call someone else "mom", but turns out it doesn't. In fact, I kind of like it. It makes me think she sees Angela as close enough to call by a familiar name, and that's a good thing - especially when there are times when we have to turn to them for emergencies (like last January when I had emergency surgery). As it is, she thinks Wiley and Felice are her siblings.

On a related note, Saturday Angelina was outside playing on the steps when I heard her yell "Oh! Thank you!" I looked out to see her running over to the fence where our neighbor Fredo (yes, another Fredo) was lifting a little tricycle over the fence. Funny thing is he didn't call out to her and say it was for her, she just knew it was :) At least she was polite and said "Thank you!" right away. Fredo and Gloria saw it at a garage sale, thought of Angelina and bought it. They cleaned it up so it's like new.

What's just amazing is that though we have no family locally, we have so many people in our lives who see Angelina (and us) as part of their own extended family. So we feel like we have family around, but without the baggage ;)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

If you're looking for pictures of Angelina Jolie Breastfeeding...

Wrong website.

Not that I mind, you can enjoy the lovely photos of our Angelina jolie (i.e. 'beautiful'), but I suspect this is not what you were looking for.

Ever since the picture of her came out in W breastfeeding one of her twins (which you can hardly tell) I've gotten lots of hits from people searching "angelina and boobs" on google.

But since I'm on the topic, kudos to her for breastfeeding her twins, and dang I wish I looked that gorgeous while nursing Angelina. I usually looked a wreck, and all Fredo's attempts to take a glowing picture of us nursing make my lack of sleep and exhaustion far too obvious. Ah well, it was worth it!

Friday, November 07, 2008


We're raising Angelina bilingual:Frederic speaks in French and I speak in English.

But sometimes she's mono-lingual and speaks Franglais, like when talking about socks and shoes. She knows the French words: chaussettes and chaussure, and the English versions, but lately she's been saying "chauss-sock" and "chauss-shoe."

We shouldn't let her, but it's too cute.

As for her speaking, she had been behind for some time. At 18 months we (ok, I) were a little concerned that she wasn't speaking at the appropriate level. The early-childhood intervention evaluators, however, found she was only 1-2 months behind so not in need of therapy. A few months later her developmental specialist said the same thing: she understood very well, but was a bit behind. No worries, this is common with a bilingual kid in the early days. Her language development has improved over the last 6 months or so, but it really took off last week.

That's what spending a week with Nanny will do.....the kid is talking non-stop. And clearly too. She skipped over mere words and sentences and went straight to monologues.

4 hour long monologues.

It's still mostly in English, but she does speak more and more French. The wonder is now, should Fredo insist on her speaking in French to him?

As for us, and what prompted this post - there's a blogger Fned doing a 'group' blog post about bilingual families. Given Frederic and I met in the US (at a German Biergarten) and since my language skills are fuddled at best (I was saying "Sawat di Ka" and "Khap khun ka" at Mexican restaurants in San Antonio... (Thai for hello and thank you) and throwing in some odd britishisms and spanish words, we've always spoken in English to each other.

My French? What French? I've tried, but my brain is full of Spanish and occasional Thai - at least that's my excuse. I keep saying once we move I'll immerse myself in it then I'll learn. However, I have learned quite a lot since Angelina was born, since he speaks to her only in French. Of course, the words I learn are not exactly for intellectual conversation: "Arrêt!" "Ça suffi! (don't know the ending for suffi-) ... and anyway, you get the idea. We try to watch cartoons/kids films in French to give us both more exposure, which seems to be working. I can sing "J'suis la carte" and "We did it!" (tho I can't spell the latter - "Çe ganard?")...Fans of Dora will understand.

Of course, if we move to Germany next year as hoped, that will throw a whole new kink into things. Great for Angelina, who will learn German in school/playground and continue English with Maman and French with Papa. More work for me though! At least I've studied the basics of German before and can read it a bit, so with effort should be able to learn, but that still means I haven't learned French.....

I've just been reading other blogs of couples who started in one language and eventually progressed to another. It's hard for me to imagine ever being fluent enough in any language to speak it as my primary language. Then I see Frederic - he claims he doesn't speak German, but having gone to university in Bern, she speaks it just fine. And I remember his English when I first met him - excellent, but a little off (and very cute) and now he's basically fluent (still with the cute accent). And though my Thai was hardly fluent or even close to it, there were times I could rattle off a price negotiation at the market, so I guess it's possible for French too. And maybe German. And Spanish. And Karen.

I would love to be able to sit with people anywhere in the world and converse in their native tongue. Fortunately, I've experienced enough of the former to know you can always find a way to converse, especially if a gin and tonic (or beer, or wine...) is involved.

I wish I was born a polyglot.

Maybe Angelina will become one.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Happy Birthday Martina!

In the Spring we happened to be in California for Cousin Camille's birthday. This time our visit coincided with cousin Martina's birthday (10!). Angelina could not have had more fun.

See that move at the end, jumping up and landing on her bum? Well, she thinks she can do that anywhere, including on Nanny's living room FLOOR - i.e., concrete slab. Ouch! She kept doing it, I'd tell her to stop, but she'd do it again. I can't believe her back wasn't hurting. Now at least she does it on the bed.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

California Dreaming

More pictures Here

"We did it! We did it! Yes yes we did it!"

"We did it! We did it! Yes yes we did it!"
As Dora the Explorer sings when she and her friends help save the world with her spirit of friendship, cooperation, perseverance, hope, and believing they can. Angelina and I dance around singing this refrain with Dora.

Yes We Can. Yes We Did.

Yes We Will. For now, we start.

I want Angelina to grow up in a world of hope. A world of promise. Believing that any thing is possible, and when things are wrong, she can work to change them to make them better for all people.

I've voted in 6 presidential elections now. I was supposed to outgrow my youthful idealism by the time I left college. Certainly I was supposed to leave it behind when I left my 20s. No way was I supposed to be carrying it with me as I approach my 40s.

It's not going anywhere. It was validated last night.

And my hope is that Angelina can carry that positive outlook with her as well. I hope she has a reason to.

I've never been a hugely patriotic sort. As I've wandered the world I've tried not to announce my nationality, though I have tried to represent my country well, quietly, my accent giving me away. But this morning, I am Proud to be an American.

Now it's time to go Save the World with Dora. Thank you America, for making us believe.

(and Thank you to Ohio, land of my forefathers)

eXTReMe Tracker