Monday, September 21, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For

There was a time when everyone seemed to be worried about Angelina's lack of development. Given her problems at birth, and though she showed no sign of having lost oxygen, the heavy sedation did have its side effects. So when at nearly 18 months she still wasn't walking and talking, it seemed everyone under the sun was concerned.

Well, except 3 people: Papa, Nana (her babysitter), and her doctor. Though the latter did suggest an evaluation by Early Childhood Intervention just for reassurance. Everyone else though, were convinced something was wrong. Random people would wonder at her age "She's not walking YET? She's not talking YET" Nooooo.

And then, at just about 18 months, it all began.

And now? Well, let's just say NOT talking is certainly not a problem. No, this child talks NON-STOP. As I picked her up today and she, as usual, rattled on constantly about something, I asked Nana "Is she like this all day?" "Oh! Gosh!" she said "Angelina NEVER STOPS!" Talking? Oh yeah. She has that down no problem. The question is now, how do we get her to stop, at least once in awhile?

As for walking, she has two speeds: snail and cheetah. She's either moving inch by inch, taking in all the world around her, or she's racing down at lightening speed as we all try to keep up, out of breath.

I can't believe I ever worried about either. One thing is clear, she's Mistress of Her Own Destiny. She will decide what she'll do and when she'll do it - a challenge for us now (which is why she's still not 100% potty-trained), but should serve her well as an adult, provided she learns proper personal controls and all that.....

I shouldn't be surprised. It was pretty clear from birth that she had the stubbornness of a mule (or an Allegrini or a Rohr.....).

For now, she's Hurricane Angelina and we'll figure out how to, um, appreciate our little whirlwind. In the meantime, she makes us laugh and laugh and laugh.

The Princess



We don't have TV. Or rather, we don't have cable. We do have DVDs, so the only shows she watches at homes are ones we've chosen to buy. I know at daycare she does watch TV so she's seen the whole range on Nickelodeon.

I read recently that the process for little girl fascination goes as follows:
2 years old - Dora
3 years old - Disney Princesses
4 years old - Hannah Montana (or is it Bratz?)

And sure enough, at her 3rd birthday, she was overwhelmed with Disney Princess stuff. I thought she wouldn't know what it was, but she did. She didn't know all the names, she just knew they were princesses. I'm not so thrilled with this trend.

See, as annoying as some find Dora the Explorer, I love her. Her mission is usually to save someone/clean the sea kingdom/rescue some animals/save Friendship Day/explore the world. And, she does it in multiple languages! Can you see why I like her even though she tends to yell a bit?

As much as I like all things Disney, the princesses, on the other hand, are all about finding Prince Charming who will save them from a life of drudgery. Now, I'm not opposed to my own Prince Charming, but I happen to prefer the idea of a little girl who goes out to save the world, relying upon her wits and her friends over the beauty who sleeps until the prince kisses her....(though I wouldn't complain if Angelina took to sleeping a wee bit more).

And Hannah Montana and Bratz/Barbie? Well, I honestly don't know much about them, except from photos of little girls dressed far too grown up.

I'm not really a prude, but I'd like my Princess to have her own power, intelligence, and inner strength to take on the world.

As for Angelina, well, turns out she's not so into the princesses afterall. She DOES however, like to call herself a princess. She loves to dress up in frilly dresses and twirl around. She also likes to explore, and play in the mud, and use tools, and definitely does not wait for someone else to guide her. No, she's ready to tackle the world on her own.




Lately, however, she's decided just being a princess isn't all it's cracked up to be. She's taken to saying "I'm the QUEEN!"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The fish

This child can spend her entire life in the water. She's a fish. Nothing makes her happier than playing in water.

She spent the better part of the weekend looking like a prune from so much water.

The upside for us? She actually sleeps!!! As you'll have noted before, watching her sleep is not something we can do often. Quite the contrary - she almost never stops until after we're worn out and sleeping ourselves. But the trick we have discovered is water. Swim swim swim. And lo and behold, she sleeps!



Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Scaring the waves.....and our trip to Mexico

Angelina did her best impersonation of "Sully" from Monsters, Inc: she said she was "Scaring the waves!" I'm not sure it worked, but she had fun trying.

After our "vacation" that wasn't a vacation in Switzerland in June, we decided we needed a mini-break. Our criteria: someplace close enough that we don't waste all day travelling, so can do in a weekend, someplace "easy" - no trekking through jungles or cities, someplace Angelina would enjoy that was all about "play" and not "seeing important sights," and someplace American Airlines flew to so we could use frequent flier miles.


We chose Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, despite it being hurricane season. Hurricane season is a two-pronged problem: (1) If a hurricane hits our destination site, well, it wouldn't be a fun trip and (2) If a hurricane hits anywhere on the Gulf Coast, I have to work and can't travel.

Fortunately, we were spared on both accounts, and though it was the rainy season, we had plenty of sunshine, beach time, and ocean time.


Neither of us are really "resort" people. I normally prefer a good jungle trek/stay in small locally-owned cabina/discover a little out of the way local restaurant. However, given we had such a short time and a toddler, we decided on an all-inclusive resort.



We probably would not have enjoyed it for more than the 2.5 days we were there, but for that time, it was perfect: play in the pool, play in the waves, play in the sand, eat, sleep, play some more, never having to wander very far afoot.

And she even made friends - everywhere she went.....

Check back later for more pictures....









Thursday, September 10, 2009

For Nanny - a place to play



When Nanny was here she complained that Angelina didn't have a table to sit at/play on. I had planned to get one, but couldn't find one I liked except this Ikea one. However Ikea is 1.5 hours away..... I convinced Nanny to wait, that I really would get one. So here it is! I was working near Ikea this week so made a rather large shopping trip. It's amazing what you can fit in a little civic if you try. For now, Angelina is happy with her new table and chairs. Especially as she directed Papa how to play.

As you can tell, we like to mix and match colors.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

A climber

Why am I showing boring video of our attic ladder in a messy dirty closet? SO you can see what Angelina climbed, all the way to the top, by herself. NOT WITH PERMISSION.

Yes, we have a climber in our midst.

Normally there's a gate across the doorway and we climb over it (and all the stuff) to get to the attic ladder. But in my 24 week-pregnant state, that was too hard, so I moved everything out so I could get to the ladder, not realizing the 3 yr old I left happily watching Dora would follow me....

I was in the attic when she started to call to me. I kept telling her to wait, I'd be down in a minute, etc. After much yelling back and forth and finally "mommy, come help me!" and I realize that voice is not nearly as far away as it should be, I look down to see her at the next to the top step. Did I say this ladder is 12 ft high?

Instead of doing the smart thing and reaching down to her, I yelled for Frederic to come help (he had been watching a movie with headphones, so missed all this). She started to climb back down, but when she saw him climbed back up. Finally I realized the safest thing to do was to reach down and help her into the attic. Thankfully, my panicked scream didn't scare her into letting go. In fact, she wasn't scared at all (except maybe when she saw Frederic and realized she did something bad). So she checked out the very messy, very hot attic, and climbed down (with Fredo close by). Hopefully she'll be uninterested in the attic from now on.


I should have known better, she tries climbing ladders all the time, but this ladder is not easy to climb. She clearly has no fear!
video

Thursday, September 03, 2009

More HeadScarves and Clones

I don't get this fascination with headscarves....today it was a blanket trailing behind her like Princess Diana's wedding veil.

And it's very clear whose child this is!




Nanny's visit
Despite being here a little more than 2 weeks, I neglected to take pictures. I don't know why, perhaps because Nanny was happy to pass Angelina off to me when I got home so didn't have a chance. At least that's my excuse.

So on her final day, I tried to take some pictures. Angelina very happily chose to wear her pretty white dress. Alas, she refused to smile for the camera. We tried to take some at home, no luck. FInally, at the airport we tried again. You can see the result here. She was rather cranky and not so happy Nanny was leaving, so smiling for a picture was not high on her list. Picking her nose, on the other hand....

 
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