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 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.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


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.

updated with some more photos

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