Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Cow Parade

Cattle Drive, San Antonio Style

Every year San Antonio has a rodeo in February. It's part traditional rodeo (bucking broncos, roping steers, etc), part 4-H (lots of kids showing their animals and winning big bucks, and part concert venue. We're not really into the rodeo itself, but the kick off is pretty fun.

Houston St becomes the Old West. Cowboys "drive" cattle down from Market Square to the Alamo. Along the way are assorted Old West type events, including some act with guys shooting guns which were all too realistic for me. But the most fun as the cow parade.
As you can see from Nanny, it was cold that day. But then Nanny is cold if it's less than 65F out.

The longhorns were sure fun to see though!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


It's still so weird to me to have a kid who looks like me. I got used to Angelina as a clone of Frederic. People have actually said to me "Is she yours?" I guess they assume I'm the Nanny....

Then comes Lenaïc. Frederic did contribute the Y chromosome, but I'm not sure much else. He really looks just like me.

And for more photos go HERE

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Is It Possible to be Painfully Social?

We've heard of "painfully shy." Well, Angelina is the opposite: Painfully Social. As in, so social it can be painful at times. Of course as her mother, I want to protect her from the pain part, and know that's not possible.

Here's the Up and the Down of being too social.

Up: We walk to Friendly Spot one Saturday. It's an ice house (i.e. they sell beer outside) with a kids' playground (man I love my neighborhood!). Tons of kids playing, no one I recognize initially. Her first words are "Mommy! Look! All my friends!!!" Note that *she* knew none of them, but they were her friends. That's a good thing. I hope that she can always walk into a group of new people and see first, only friends. Later we did see another kid she knew well, and she spent most of her time with her and her friends.

Down: Not everyone wants to be your friend. I've seen this happen before at other gatherings, and she's at a total loss as to how to react. Today, fortunately she was oblivious.

We went to the zoo. Spectacular day, actually pretty full for a weekday in February. As we arrive, Lenaïc wants to nurse so I sat there while she played on a statue which was full of kids. Then the kids left. "Mommy, where'd the kids go? We need to find the kids!" I reminded her we were here to see animals, but no worries. There were lots of school kids there on field trips. Then, as usually happens in such places, you see the same people at each exhibit because you're going the same pace. Early on, we see a family from NY with 3 young girls (8, 6, and 5). She didn't interact too much initially, but then we got to the aviary where I couldn't go with the stroller, and she trudged on ahead. I could see her, so let her go...then the family with 3 girls caught up, and she just became the 4th child.

The parents were great and took it in stride. The girls were a little confused though. They'd get ahead, Angelina would say "Where are the girls? Come on Mommy, let's go." and race up to them. The oldest one was pretty tolerant, but the younger ones kept saying "Why is she following us?!"

I said she didn't have any sisters so she liked being around other girls. And the mom said something along the same lines. This went on for about an hour. She kept trying to engage the girls, share in whatever they were doing. The parents were sweet and encouraged her (I sort of let it flow naturally, pulled her back if need be, tried not to interfere too much otherwise). Eventually she got distracted and I pushed her up ahead as they hung back (I suspected she'd be upset to say goodbye, so wanted to avoid it) so they could finally ditch us.

All in all it was fun, and she was in very good spirits (no tantrums, no difficulties!), and she didn't seem to notice the girls weren't that into her. So, I guess ignorance is bliss. For now.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Visit From Nanny

Nanny of course wanted to meet Lenaïc, and Frédéric had back to back business trips in January, so we figured that'd be a good time for her to come. As it was, I was having a hard time managing both kids by myself during the day. I couldn't imagine it around the clock. So Nanny to the rescue! At least for the first week...

Angelina was THRILLED to have Nanny here, she barely noticed Papa gone. Until week 2. Poor Nanny couldn't do much to help then, all Angelina wanted was Papa. But she helped ME a ton! I've never had so many clean clothes or dishes washed so quickly!

And Lenaïc got to meet Nanny for the first time.

And a few more pictures loaded here


One thing about having Angelina home while I'm on maternity leave, I need to find ways to keep her busy! The Little Gym has a free trial class for gymnastics, so we decided to give it a go one Tuesday. She LOVED it.

Listening to the teacher was of course a challenge, but she had so much fun playing on the bars, balance beam, floors...

However, I think we're going to hold off signing her up. It's a 5 month commitment and a lot of money. We've decided to sign her up for dance class instead this spring, and save gymnastics for fall. She just needs MOVEMENT!

(pictures taken with my phone, so not the best, but you get the idea...)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Worry No More: 2 Month Stats

Or at least now I can worry about something else.

Initially we were concerned about Lenaïc's weight gain since he'd dropped so much at birth and at 3 weeks or so was in the 3rd percentile (down from the 30th). I knew it was improving as he's growing out of all his clothes, but we finally had the official weigh in yesterday:

11lbs 12 oz (5.04kg)
23 inches (58.4cm)

That puts him in the 50th%. All on Mommy's Milk.

Also meant we had our two month shots. Four shots + one oral:
DTaP: Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccine
Hib: Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine
IPV: Inactivated poliovirus vaccine
PCV: Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
Rota: Rotavirus vaccine

Ouch. He calmed down pretty quickly though, and slept almost 6 hours last night. Unfortunately, I woke after 3 hours, as my internal (i.e. boob) clock has been set to his every 2-3 hour waking....

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Climber in Training

Angelina is a budding rock climber it seems. She just loves the climbing wall at Friendly Spot Ice House. Maybe her cousin Justin will have to teach her some tricks.

As for Lenaïc, his favourite thing to do is lay on Mommy's chest and sleep.

My Parenting Library

Usually I tell friends to throw away the baby books. They seem aimed at making new parents neurotic. The one I really liked (Happiest Baby on the Block), I liked because it just validated my instincts. I'm a big believer in the "Go With Your Gut" style of parenting.

And then came Angelina....and now I have a whole library of parenting books. A year ago, I wrote about our Spirited Child. The book, Raising Your Spirited Child, gave us some valuable insight into understanding her character. And let's face it, a child of Frédéric and me is not going to be calm and easy going, not with two intense, passionate parents. It's what I love about Frédéric and about Angelina, but it can be a challenge!

So here we are a year later. Our Happy Hurricane is adjusting (or rather, not adjusting) to leaving her old daycare where she'd been 2.5 years, being a big sister with a new baby in the house demanding ALL Mommy's time, and starting a new pre-school. For awhile there, it was bad. BAD. And then it started to get better, or so it seemed. Then, Papa went away. Sure, Nanny came and that helped distract her a bit the first week, but having returned for two days and leave again for another 4, was more than even Nanny could distract...All her "worst" behaviours came out in full force. Now he's back, and she's coming around again, but we've accepted that "going with your gut" isn't working.

So we've succumbed to the books. See, our "guts" too often lead us to be intimidators rather than emotion coaches. Ten points to whomever knows where that reference comes from ;). My latest book is another by the same author, and reading it is like bells going off. "Of course! That's what I need to do!" as she describes some child doing the same thing Angelina does.

AH, but one actually has to remember all the techniques and actually DO them, which is not so easy in the heat of the moment when your gut is telling you to strike out.

We're learning. Most importantly, we're learning more about ourselves. Frédéric said the other day "she's making us better people." That's because we're learning patience, we're learning to think about what we do, how we react, how we deal with stress. Not that the lessons are easy. I'd say we're earning about a C+ at the moment. But we're trying. Maybe by the time Lenaïc enters this phase, we'll have mastered the lessons and earned an A+.

The book: Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles

Another just finished Siblings Without Rivalry, which, though one sibling is not even 8 weeks old, is already relevant. I highly recommend both.

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