Saturday, December 26, 2009

So Babies Actually SLEEP?


I was convinced babies didn't really sleep, at least not alone, unattached to mommy... See, Angelina never slept during the day unless she was ON me, attached in some way (to the boob, in the sling, laying on my chest). At night I could put her down, but only because I lay(lie?) right next to her, with her attached to me most of the night.

People talked about babies who Sleep Through The Night (STTN), or about how babies "sleep all the time." I just assumed that was a myth.

And then Lenaïc was born. Now, he doesn't STTN, and his days and nights are a bit mixed up still. But he does actually sleep when NOT attached to me. I can put him down, and he sleeps! Wow! I am in shock!

Of course, that doesn't mean any extra time for me, as a certain 3.5 yr old Hurricane is still running about the house, requiring mommy's attention....

Friday, December 25, 2009

What Happened to My Happy Hurricane?


Turns out, being a big sister is Not So Easy

So it seems Angelina's having some challenges after all. She is definitely a "spirited" child, requiring a lot of attention. However, her default is Happy. She has had her moments, but generally, her spiritedness makes us laugh more than cry. That is, until lately. My Happy Hurricane has become the fury of Katrina/Rita/Dolly/Gustav/Ike all rolled into one.

I didn't think this was related to the baby as it started a few weeks before he was born, but it seems now that's a big part of it. A month ago or so she just started being weepy a lot. No reason, she'd just cry - note, she rarely cried before, unless she was really hurt. She wasn't a whiner. But suddenly, everything made her weep. Then that advanced to tantrums. She's had them before, but not like this. Multiple times per day, lasting hours, with no obvious trigger.

And then the baby came. Now, keep in mind the weekend before he was born, she was helping Papa put together the bassinet and said "This is going to be the best baby ever!" and the next morning came running into the room, asking where the baby was. The day he was born she was part of the process, excited and mostly loving it all.
She was patient and calm and thrilled. No tantrums, no real difficult moments during labor, and it went late: it was after midnight when she finally went to sleep.

Then the real challenges started. Part of it was lack of sleep, but she's back to her usual sleep pattern now (except naps - she hasn't napped for us in over a year, but she did nap at daycare). She loves him, she dotes on him, but when it comes time for mommy to nurse - yikes! But it's not only then, the littlest things set her off. And then it's a vicious cycle. Our patience wears thin. We snap at her. She snaps back, and it escalates... We're working on our response, but how to change hers?

What's most frustrating, is she went from Happy Girl to Miserable Girl. It's so sad for me to see it, and not be able to fix it. I'm spending as much time with her as possible, one on one when possible, but with a nursing newborn, that's not so easy.






I'm just hoping it is only due to the baby's arrival, and will pass in time,and my Happy Hurricane will return.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Big Sister

If you're wondering how Angelina has adjusted to being a big sister, just look....

She loves her baby brother.




Sunday, December 13, 2009

I finally contributed some genes

After the little clone of her Papa, it's nice to see I can contribute some genes too!







Me at my baptism, almost 1 month old














Me at birth

Definitely my child! So far at least.....

How he came into the world

(copied from Facebook note)

It was Tuesday Dec 8 at 3PM that I posted the following on Facebook:
"Dear Baby: Please stay inside me until 1)we finish the sheetrock and primer, 2)your Papa finishes the massive amounts of work he has scheduled this week, 3) your mommy finishes the massive amounts of work scheduled this week, and 4) we buy a new washing machine and have it delivered and installed. Then you are free to come any time. Thank you."

Apparently I either knew something might be up, or this kid doesn't listen to me... About 2 hours later, signs of pre-labor appeared. Such signs could mean labor was hours, days or weeks away. I stayed home the next day, not feeling up to driving. By 10am, Dec 9, as the workmen of #1 were sheetrocking, labor signs became a bit more obvious. By 11AM, there was no doubt....I was trying to be discreet so as not to alarm the workers. As it turned out, I was about to tell them they needed to leave for the day when they said they were finishing up. Not done, just done for the day because everything was wet. So we didn't even make it through #1. They'll come back next week :).

Over the next 11 hours, we brought him into the world. :) And when I say "we", I mean Frédéric, Angelina, and I. They were both very helpful. And my midwives too. He was born in the water at 10:10pm, and I wouldn't change a thing! For anyone interested in more details of the birth, let me know and I'll email all the gory details.

As for Angelina, she was great! She had her moments, but for the most part, she loved being involved and wasn't at all scared. And being in the birthing tub with us was a blast for her. She helped massage my back and kept holding me when it hurt. She did leave the room towards the end saying "Mommy's upset" because apparently I was making some significant noises ("Holy cow that hurts!");). She came back in within seconds of the baby coming out and immediately went to him to touch him, covered in mucus and all....The look on her face of fascination and wonder as we welcomed him into the world was priceless.





So, I jinxed myself by asking the baby to wait. I also planned a Girls Night In at our house for Wednesday night. The other way to assure labor without inducing - give up your birth tub....I didn't have the tub yet because another client, already 8 days overdue, still had it. The midwife picked it up on her way to my house saying to her "I have a sure way to get you into labor, I'm taking the tub for another mom." Sure enough, about the time Lenaïc was born, the midwife received a call from the other mom saying her labor had started. Who needs pitocin, when Murphy's Law is at work?!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Announcing...

Or as Big Sister Angelina would say "Ta da!"

Lenaïc Martin Allegrini
born Dec 9, 09. 10:10PM (at 38 weeks exactly). 8lbs. 20" long. Healthy, happy, already nursing like a champ!












And Angelina playing in the birth tub while mommy was walking around trying to get my water to break

"Mommy, you have to share the baby!"

So, first question is, "How is Angelina adapting?"

She loves her baby sister/brother....first sign of confusion. She keeps calling him her "baby sister" and gets really upset when we correct her, so we just leave it at that. She says that SHE is the brother and he is the sister.

And, she loves him so much she wants to be with him ALL THE TIME. That means constantly touching, holding...you get the idea. It's sweet, but she doesn't get that he can't quite play with her yet. However,I did see her sit quietly next to him for about 10 minutes this morning. This from the child who a few days ago said when we left a book reading about 2 minutes after it started "Mommy, I can't sit still and be quiet."

And then, there's the sharing.....she doesn't seem to be jealous of him yet. No, it's mommy she wants to go away so she can have him all to herself.

Overall, she's very excited. And she did great during the delivery (more on that later). More pictures to come, so check back!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Princess of the Dirt

Angelina has this thing for pretty dresses. She loves them. She loves wearing them. Every Day. It doesn't need to be a special occasion. Saturday is an occasion...


On this day, she had actually slept in the dress the night before, and wouldn't take it off in the morning.

I love that she is just as happy to play in the dirt.
I

Ready for MUD PUDDLES

What can be better than new rubber boots and a warm vest on a December day?!

Thanks to Skylar (and her mom and dad, Trudi and Matt) for the early Christmas gift. They're perfect!

We were just saying Angelina needed rubber boots since she likes to go play in puddles in her good shoes, but we hadn't found any yet. Trudi must have read out minds.





Angelina immediately put them on and went in search of Mud Puddles. Alas, it was dry that day. No puddles, but they'll come surely.



Friday, November 27, 2009

Daycare woes

Or maybe opportunities?


We've loved our daycare. It's an in-home licensed daycare. A wonderful "older" woman who'd been doing this 20+ years. Her breadth and depth of experience has been wonderful in how she deals with Angelina and what she's taught us about child rearing. We like the in-home environment, though it does have its drawbacks, because it feels like a "family" situation - she gets to interact with kids of all ages.

Though we hoped to send her to pre-K this year, the one we want was full. I had this plan that when the baby arrived, she would still go 2x/week to keep some consistency, some attention from "Nana," some play time for her with her friends, and give me some time with the new baby. And then back to full time and add in the new baby in March. It was so hard to find a good babysitter, esp. with a baby, that I was glad we already had someone we trusted.

Well, it seems she's finally worn out "Nana". Alas, "Nana" told us Tuesday she's retiring at Christmas. Oops. Can't say as I blame her - especially after seeing Angelina and her friend Miranda playing together. Talk about 2 hyper kids. I don't know that I could handle them!

Timing isn't too bad since I will be home on maternity leave then anyway, so we're not desperate. And thanks to all our friends here we've already got lots of recommendations and unlike last time we looked, most have plenty of space available.

The hard part will be the transition for Angelina. We're looking at places a bit more "school" oriented, and she's excited to go to school, so I think if we focus on that aspect it'll help. Still, she's going to have a very hard time not seeing "Nana" and Miranda (her favourite friend) every day, at the same time as having to share Mommy and Papa with a new baby.

Hopefully she'll prove to be adaptable (jury is still out on whether or not she inherited my "always try something new" tendency....) and the new situation will work out. And hopefully we'll find as good of a place for the new baby. At the very least, we won't be driving to the other side of town anymore, which is a silver lining.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

California and Airplanes



First Stop: Martina, Hannah and Matthew's house (aka, Uncle Chris and Aunt Debbie's house). Matthew and Uncle Chris were out at the UCLA football game, but that was ok. More time for the girls to play. From trampoline to dress up to dance....how much more fun can you have?




Then it was off to Aunt Loretta and Uncle Bruce's house for all the rest of the family. Despite being dead tired, she was raring to go. She just HAD to wear her new "pretty dress" that we'd bought that day. And seeing Opa? That was the highlight. She wouldn't get too close, and she wouldn't sit on his lap, but she kept walking around telling everyone "There's Opa!"

Next Day was the Annual Tamale Making Party. Nanny starts bright and early, which was no problem since we were on Texas time. Fortunately, cousin Hannah spent the night so Angelina was happily occupied while we helped Mom set up. While we made tamales, all Angelina cared about was her cousins.



You've never seen a kid so happy! (see videos below) 3 girls and 3 boys to entertain her and abide her every wish.....there are advantages to being 5 years younger than the youngest cousin. She was the STAR!






She's now a football player. Particularly funny as she had no clue that she was significantly smaller than the other kids, she jumped in to tackle (more like a rugby scrum) with the biggest of them.





And tease? Yes, she can beat Matthew at his own game. He teased her by holding the ball just out of reach. So when she got the ball, she did the same to him.




All day playing with cousins, what could be better?







Having a new grandma! She has Nanny, but she doesn't realize that Nanny = Grandma, while her friends have two grandmas. She calls them Grandma, but Felice often reminds her "that's MY Grandma." So, apparently Angelina decided to adopt her own - Cousin Gloria. Gloria walked in and immediately Angelina said "There's Grandma." I said "No, that's Gloria." No. Grandma. We went back and forth and I gave up. So all day she called Gloria Grandma. As Gloria has no grandkids, she was quite happy to adopt one. But it wasn't just that day. She's been talking about "grandma Gloria" since we got back. I even her heard telling Wiley and Felice all about HER Grandma Gloria.

Alas, the time came to say goodbye. Angelina does not do well with goodbyes. While we'd see some of them the next day, Hannah, Martina, and Matthew all had school/practice so this was our last time with them. She didn't want to say goodbye, got rather grouchy and stomped away. Same when Gloria left :(


On Monday she saw a picture from her baptism with a bunch of cousins and said with wonder and excitement "Look mommy! All my cousins!" She is sooooooo excited to have cousins!!! She wouldn't let go of that picture all morning.




Since everyone was in school Monday, and since Angelina had been asking to go to the beach, we headed off to Little Corona Del Mar for the tide pools with Nanny. There wasn't much sea life in them this time, but it was a gorgeous (tho not super warm) day and playing in the sand and sea was more than worth it.





Then off to Aunt Denise and Uncle Kurt's for another dinner. This time a little more subdued (I think she knew more goodbyes were inevitable). Still, she had fun playing with Kyle and Camille while we checked out the old toys Denise had saved from our collective childhood....many were passed down from Tim, so at least 50 years old!




We had a final breakfast with Opa, just Frédéric, Angelina, and I, which was wonderful. The whole point of the trip, afterall, was to see and spend time with Dad. All the parties are fun, but it's also nice to have some one-on-one time too. She enjoyed entertaining Opa who clearly enjoyed entertaining her. Of course, Angelina went into her now familiar grouchy not talking mode when it was time to say goodbye. Though frustrating, in a way it's sweet. It's her way of coping with being sad to leave.

Then it was another airplane trip and back home! Followed the next morning with "Mommy, I want to go to California." And daily since with "Mommy, I want to see Hannah/Martina/Matthew/Kyle/Camille/Nanny/Opa" Even Uncle Chris got a mention (sorry Ryan and Justin, you have to play football with her to get a notice).

For the whole collection of photos, including a few from Halloween, see California Nov 2009

Halloween Fun

Last year we were in CA and Angelina loved it, but I don't think she fully remembered it. This year, on the other hand, she knows all about CANDY. I had hoped she'd wear her Astronaut costume from last year, but she was not interested. She wanted to be a princess. Note that she doesn't really know who the princesses are or their stories, but she likes the pretty dresses. Thanks to the neighbors who have a box of costumes, we had this Snow White dress on hand. Our first outing was to Bubblehead, where they had a costume contest. She loved playing with little eggplant Melody and Gladiator Lucian, her two favourite friends these days.

Next day we went to Circle Fest at the Circle School - she actually didn't get into the Halloween part of it as much as just had fun playing on all the playground equipment.

Since the Snow White costume is a bit big, I decided to try to find her another princess outfit and settled on this pink concoction. I'm not sure whom it's supposed to be, but she loved it. On Halloween, we joined her two other favourite friends, Wiley and Felice, for the King William/Lavaca party at the Villareal's. Ok, so it wasn't really the KW/Lavaca party but pretty much all the kids from these neighborhoods were there. It was overwhelming to say the least! But lots of fun.

She loved going house to house asking for candy. But later was confused. See, at the party, she seemed overwhelmed by all the kids so had made her way to a back room with toys and only a few kids. Meanwhile, most of the kids left to do more trick-or-treating. Eventually she wanted to go to but then we were on our own. The neighborhood was packed with truck loads of kids being dropped off, but none of whom she knew. So she'd wander up with a pack to a house, they'd get their candy and turn around and she'd follow, missing the candy! It was pretty funny....

Eventually she got too tired to carry on, so when we went back to the party we didn't stay long and made it an early night. However, since she had candy on the dress, she just HAD to wash it that night. I learned why: She wore it the next day. And the day after. And.....

Lucky for us, she's rather snobbish about her candy. She likes the idea, she opens it, but ends up throwing it away because she doesn't like it. She prefers her Swiss chocolate. I'm not complaining. The Villareals told us about the Halloween Fairy who visits the house Halloween night, takes away the candy and replaces it with a toy. And we added, "Gives the candy to the poor kids who didn't get any." (hey, a bit of social justice never hurts) Since she doesn't REALLY eat it, we may not have to go that far. For now, out of sight out of mind works.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fun with Cousins

More pictures and stories to come....

A weekend in California with the cousins, Angelina had a BLAST. The crash video was taken first. She was a bit shocked initially, but that lasted all of a few seconds, as you can see from the next video.

video

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Namaste





Angelina has taken up a fondness for Oga, otherwise known as Yoga but no matter how many times we correct her, she insists it's OGA. It all started with Mommy's prenatal yoga, which she liked but then got bored. It's a little slow for this high-impact aerobics type kid.

I happened across a kids' yoga and thought it'd be fun to try out. She loves it! Only problem is it's hard for me to do it with her as a lot of the poses are on your belly. Not so good at 7 months pregnant....


Instead, she does it with Papa.

video
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updated with some more photos

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Airplanes! Airplanes! Airplanes!

Nearly every day for the past 6 weeks (kind of since our Mexico trip), the first thing Angelina says when she wakes up is "I want to go on the airplane!"

She's fixated on it. I think part of it is that when we went to Mexico it was early morning and dark...and by the time we came back the sun started rising later, meaning it was more often dark when she woke up. So I think she associates that with flying on the airplane.

Or, she just wants to travel.

So, this has been constant. Until Sunday. On Saturday we had a party for our friends Dawn and Rich visiting from Phoenix. Angelina was a little convinced the party was for her...and of course Miss Party Girl had a blast. So, first thing she said when she woke up Sunday was "Mommy, where are all the people? I want a party!" Well, at least we were past the airplane craze.

Or so I thought.

Later that day it was the beach. "I want to go to beach!" (it's 2+ hours away so not something we do often).

All day Monday "I want to go to the beach!"

Monday night, she puts 2 and 2 together "Mommy, I want to take the airplane to the beach!"

oops.

This morning she wakes up, throws the blanket off her head and asks "Is it time to go on the airplane now?"


I wish we had a trip planned soon, but we have nothing planned for quite some time!

We're going to China!

Not really. We're not actually going to China, but Angelina begs to go daily (along with the beach).

See, we've discovered Ni Hao, Kai-Lan. My friend Trudi's almost one year old loves it, so she lent us a DVD. I now have a love/hate relationship with Kai-Lan myself. That's because Angelina loves it so much, she asks to watch it over and over and over and over and over.....We don't have network/cable TV, so it's not like she's a TV hound. But all I hear these days is "I want to go to China!" which really means the episode where Kai-Lan, her grandfather Ye Ye, and all her friends fly to China. She could easily watch it 5 times in a row if we let her. of course, though, she also loves all the other episodes.

It's a cute show - not unlike Dora. Kai-Lan speaks Mandarin and English, teaching her friends lots of Mandarin words and Chinese culture. Each episode teaches them about behaviour - they sing "When you feel bad, what do you do? Calm, calm, down." Or when one friend is grumpy because he doesn't like his role, they talk it out, learn to fix the problem, make everyone happy. Or in another, one doesn't want to try the Chinese noodles because they're different, but they convince him it's good to try something new.

All in all, not bad lessons. But if I have to hear about going to China one more time, I may scream!

And on that note, it's all about the airplanes.....

A belly shot

Here I am at almost 31 weeks pregnant with my good friend Dawn, almost 29 weeks pregnant.


Unfortunately Dawn lives in Phoenix now so our kids won't be playing together as often as we'd like. We were lucky to have this visit!



On the plus side, Baby Desmond (Kyle and Marisa's new baby) will only be a few months older than Allegrini #2, so there will be another playmate around. (angelina took this photo...)


Angelina is so looking forward to being the Big Sister. She's still convinced she's having a brother. Maybe she has some sixth sense about it?

 
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